The communications division consists of:
- 1 captain
- 1 communications supervisor (Sergeant)
- 6 communications officers
The mission of the Communications Division of the Bates County Sheriff’s Office is to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens and officers we serve. We are the point of contact for emergency services (law enforcement, fire and ambulance) in the unincorporated areas of Bates County and the city of Rich Hill. We receive emergency and non-emergency calls for service and relay them to the appropriate officer or agency so they can quickly and safely serve the needs of the public.
7 full time dispatchers and 1 part time Communications Officers are responsible for receiving and dispatching calls for service for Bates County Sheriff’s Office, Adrian Police Department, Adrian Fire, Hume Fire and Rockville Fire, or transferring them to the appropriate agency when needed. Communications officers are also responsible for maintaining records and entering warrants, missing persons, protection orders, and stolen property into state and national law enforcement computer systems. They also monitor potentially hazardous weather conditions.
When To Call 911
Call 911 when there is an emergency:
- Lives are in danger and immediate action is required
- Burning building or vehicle
- Serious injury or medical condition (i.e.; a heart attack)
- A crime is in progress, such as a:
- Armed robbery
- To report suspicious persons, vehicles or circumstances, threats of violence or injury, disturbances or actions which, if not controlled quickly, could lead to an emergency.
For non emergencies call 660-679-3232. Using the non-emergency number helps keep the 911 lines available for persons reporting emergencies.
When Not To Call 911
Examples of when NOT to call 911:
- When you need a phone number or address
- If you need a phone number or address, consult a phone book or call directory assistance – 411, NOT 911. Any time a caller feels his or her life is in danger, he or she should call 911 – otherwise, use a non emergency number.
- To Ask the Police-Fire-Ambulance Agency a Question
- If a caller is not in need of immediate emergency assistance, 911 is not the number to call. When calling to ask a question and not to request immediate assistance, call the department’s non-emergency number.
- To Get a Cat Out of a Tree
- Calling for help with animals in distress is perfectly fine – just don’t call 911. Only call 911 if the animal is endangering human life. Calls to request assistance for animals that are lost or in distress should go to the department’s non-emergency number.
How To Be A Good 911 Caller
STAY CALM! It’s important to take a deep breath and not get excited. Any situation that requires 911 is, by definition, an emergency. The dispatcher knows that and will try to move things along quickly, but under control.
Know the location of the emergency and the number you are calling from. This may be asked and answered a couple of times but don’t get frustrated. The phone number you are calling from and exact directions are essential! Learn and know your county road number and the nearest crossroad. Give a detailed description of your home/property. (Keep these directions/details posted near every phone in your home) If for some reason you are disconnected, at least emergency crews will know where to go and how to call you back.
As the call progresses, you may hear clicking – do not hang up!
Let the dispatcher guide the conversation. Answer the dispatchers questions calmly and clearly so that they can provide the information needed to help emergency services respond as quickly as possible. He or she is typing the information into a computer and it may seem to be taking forever. It is likely, however, that emergency services are already being sent while you are still on the line.
Follow all instructions. In some cases, the dispatcher will give you instructions. Listen carefully, follow each step exactly, and ask for clarification if you don’t understand.
Be alert and keep your eyes open. You may be asked to describe victims, suspects, vehicles, or other parts of the scene.
Do not hang up until directed to do so by the dispatcher.
Children And 911
Everyone needs to know about calling 911 in an emergency. But children in particular need specifics about what an emergency is. Asking your child, “What would you do if we had a fire in our house?” or “What would you do if you saw someone trying to break in?” gives you a chance to discuss what is an emergency and what should be done if one occurs.
Learning what is an emergency goes hand in hand with learning what isn’t. A fire, an intruder in the home, an unconscious family member – these are all things that would require a call to 911. A bruised knee, a stolen bicycle, or a lost pet wouldn’t. Still, teach your child that if ever in doubt and there’s no adult around to ask, make the call. It’s much better to be safe than sorry!
Talk to your children about who the emergency workers are in your community – police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and so on – and what kinds of things they do to help people who are in trouble. This will paint a clear picture for your child of not only what types of emergencies can occur, but also who can help.
Teach your child how to dial 911, what to say, how to give directions and who is involved. Have the child do a practice call – any Bates County Communications Officer would love to assist you and your child! Please make sure your child understands that they should never call 911 for “fun” or as a “joke”.
Even old cell phones without minutes can still dial 911- please don’t let children play with old cell phones that still power on!