April 16, 2019 - As the nation marks National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, County Executive George Latimer is recognizing the dispatchers who work for the county’s Departments of Public Safety and Emergency Services for the professionalism and skill they bring to their jobs every day.

The county’s two dispatch centers – the Communications Unit at the Department of Public Safety and the Emergency Communications Center at the Department of Emergency Services -- handled more than 300,000 calls for assistance in 2018. In addition, these dispatchers are responsible for a broad range of duties, including deploying police, fire and EMS agencies to respond to emergencies and conveying critical safety information to all first responders operating in the field.

“In times of crisis and emergency, people call 911,” Latimer said. “The telecommunications professionals who work for Westchester County are a lifeline to those who need help and an invaluable resource to the first responders they dispatch to answer the call. I am grateful to our DPS and DES communications personnel for the tremendous job they do, often under very stressful circumstances.”

In 2018, the County Police Communications Unit handled more than 145,000 calls for service from the public – including more than 21,000 emergency calls via 911.  Commo, as it is informally called, has 19 Communication Operators, including five Senior Communication Operators, and is augmented by three Police Officers assigned to the unit. It also broadcasts hotline messages and mutual aid requests for all police agencies in Westchester.

At DES, the Emergency Communication Center, also known as 60 Control, processed 181,971 phone events and managed 139,366 Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) requests.  The ECC is staffed with 19 Communication Operators and five Shift Supervisors. In addition there is a CAD supervisor, Operations Captain, Quality Assurance Manager, Radio System Manager and others that support the technology and operations.

The ECC provides primary dispatch services to 52 fire and 31 EMS agencies in the county. It also manages all the fire and EMS mutual aid requests for the county.

“I salute our DPS and DES communications officers for the professionalism and skill they bring to these vitally important jobs,” Latimer said.

National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week was launched in 1981 and is marked during the second full week of April each year.