The Communications Section consists of
officers who have completed 25 weeks of extensive training to
receive telephone calls from the public and gather information.
They must have detailed knowledge of the laws to properly inform
responding officers. They also dispatch all officers to
the scenes of emergencies. Communications officers also
access the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), which
is the federal database that allows officers to search criminal
and driving histories and track stolen items, such as vehicles.
The Communications Section is on duty at
all times and the officers work eight-hour shifts. All
calls for service in Kenner come to the Communications Section,
including those for fire and medical emergencies. Using
Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), the call takers then alert the
proper authorities to each situation. The Communications
Section has four 9-1-1 lines, seven non-emergency lines, and a
one-button transfer for misdirected calls. The officers
are also trained to accommodate emergency calls from the hearing
impaired by using a special keyboard.
The Communications Section monitors the
weather and distributes weather bulletins to patrol units.
Communications officers also monitor the location of patrol
units and direct them during pursuits. The officers manage
stressful situations, such as callers who threaten suicide or
who are victims or witnesses of crimes, via the telephone, a
vital lifeline between a victim and a police officer. They
must think quickly, decipher and type information into the
computer and patiently keep callers on the line until the
appropriate authorities arrive.