Some Colbert County Police Departments Change Dispatch Method

042414 CO Police Dispatch 6pm PKG

TUSCUMBIA, Ala. (WHNT) – The way some police departments in Colbert County are dispatched by 911 has changed, and other departments could be following suit.

This week, both Littleville and Leighton Police Departments started being dispatched directly by 911 operators.

Previously dispatchers would only dispatch fire and medical calls from their terminals.

On Monday Colbert County 911 operators took on the role of law enforcement dispatchers as well.

“If it was a law enforcement only call, we would transfer that call out to the agency with jurisdiction. All of the law enforcement agencies around here either have their own dispatch or were dispatched by the sheriff’s department,” explained Michael Smith with Colbert County 911.

That step is now being taken out of the 911 dispatch process for Leighton and Littleville Police Departments.

911 operators will contact officers directly in the field, speeding up the response times for officers in those towns.

Chief Brandon Hood with Leighton Police Department has already seen the benefits.

“Coming through the caller through one person to get to us instead of it being transferred out to other agencies or through different callers to get more accurate information, and like I said it saves time,” said Hood.

Helping residents get the assistance they need much sooner.

Officials with Colbert County 911 say other towns and municipalities have already contacted them with interest in a centralized dispatch.

Right now Tuscumbia, Sheffield, and Muscle Shoals maintain their own dispatch center.

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