City of Roanoke, Virginia, E-911 Center

Submitted by Jennifer Creighton

Roanoke is the “Star City” of Virginia and its E-911 center happens to be full of Stars.  Not only because of the certifications and awards it maintains for being a frontrunner in E-911 industry and technology, but because we strive to provide excellent, quality service when handling roughly 360,000 calls throughout the year. We are currently operating with a team of 22 Communication Officers, 4 Shift Supervisors and 6 administrative staff.  Our dispatchers work a lot of hours, ensuring that the citizens and public safety personnel stay / remain safe in our community.

Our department works well together, and we consider ourselves a unified team working to achieve the same goals.  Over the course of the past year, we have remained extremely busy! We have implemented a newly revised training program, received recertification for the APCO P33 Training Program, we continue to develop plans for a new communications center and we deployed a brand new CAD system; all while training five new Communications Officers that we are proud to have as part of our team.  Our newest team members have done an amazing job learning a new system in the midst of all their training and we are glad they joined our department. We also have a very dedicated and busy Community Involvement Team who plan and attend events which allow us to develop trust and educate our community.  Our administrative team works diligently to provide us with the necessary tools, technology, etc. to make our jobs easier while serving the public! While we work hard, we are extremely excited to see where our future leads us!

Who are these faceless voices on the other side of the radio and phone you may ask?  We are your neighbors, your friends and your family members and we are proud to be serving in the community in which we live.  A diverse group in age and backgrounds, the one thing we all have in common is that what we do as public safety communications officers makes a difference and true impact on those we serve.  Whether it is working the dispatch floor or confirming with NORAD that Santa is due to approach our city, we are here, embracing the good and working together as a cohesive team through the bad.

Our National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (aka NPSTW) Committee has an exciting challenge ahead of them- to give the members of our department something exciting to look forward to and to recognize their hard work.  Last year, our dispatchers celebrated this special week, with a Carnival related theme, which included games, popcorn and a cotton candy machine as well as door prizes to sweeten the excitement.  Our NPSTW committee has accepted the challenge to make this year’s celebration better than ever and that all begins with this submission to APCO’s contest.

We wish all of our “Brothers and Sisters” that are the “Thin Gold Line” in their communities a Happy National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week.  Remember that we are all “Stars” because of our commitment to our communities and the professionalism we bring to every CALL!

Thank you for taking the time to get to know our very special team of Communication Officers.  Show your support for our Communication Officers by hitting that like button!