The Communications Section consists of Communications Officers who operate the 9-1-1 Call Center. Communications Officers 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. Communications Officers dispatch officers to the scenes of emergencies and maintain the critical link between the public and officers. 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 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Communications personnel include both Police Communications Officers and Call Takers who work 12-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 9-1-1 Call Center Section answers emergency 9-1-1 lines and texts, as well as non-emergency lines, and has a one-button transfer for misdirected calls to be transferred to the proper agencies. 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 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.