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When the public calls for assistance they have the expectation of and the right to have their call handled in a professional and expedient manner regardless of where they are located in Okaloosa County. With this in mind, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office has been working to improve their communications center. The Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with The Okaloosa County Office of Emergency Management to provide the Communications Center with new up to date technology equipment which allows communications officers to handle calls in a more efficient manner.
When you call 9-1-1 in Okaloosa County, your call rings in the “CopsCom” (Cooperative Public Safety Communications Center), which is shared by the Sheriff’s Office, EMS and Fire Dispatch. All 9-1-1 calls for emergency service are answered, “9-1-1, do you need Police, Fire or Medical?” Fire and medical calls are immediately transferred to the appropriate Fire Department or Medical Dispatchers. If your call is law enforcement related, the dispatcher will ask you questions to determine exactly what is occurring. These calls are answered immediately, no exceptions! Each month, the Communications Center receives approximately 20,000 non-emergency calls and an average of 4,000 9-1-1 calls.
All calls for service on a non-emergency line will be answered, “Sheriff’s Office, Communications.” During periods of high volume calls, a non-emergency line may be answered, “Sheriff’s Office, do you have an emergency?” If the caller advises, “Yes”, then the call is handled immediately. If the caller’s response is, “No“, the caller will be advised to please hold. Please do not hang up! Your call will be answered in the order it was received.
Why do they ask so many questions when I call 9-1-1?
Asking questions enables the communications officer to determine the type of activity the deputy will be responding to on that particular call. Explicit questions will be asked by the communications officer resulting in specific answers to pass on to the responding officer so that they are well informed of the situation. In order to expedite the call, the caller will be asked the following questions:
- Where did the incident occur?
This is necessary to determine the physical location of the incident.
- Where are you located?
This is necessary in order for the deputy to make contact with the caller, unless otherwise advised.
- What is your name and phone number?
This is necessary in the event that additional information is needed.
Our goal is to serve the public to the best of our ability. Your full cooperation helps us serve you to the best of our abilities.