Delaware County, Indiana

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The Department of Emergency Communications utilizes a AT&T Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) system to route incoming calls to available call-takers. Each call, regardless of the number dialed (9-1-1. 7-digit, operator assisted, wireless, etc.), is routed by AT&T to the 9-1-1 Center using this system.

When the phone rings at a call-taking position, the display provides the originating telephone number of the caller if a 7-digit number was dialed. If it is a 9-1-1 call, the AT&T database provides the caller's number, name, and location information. The call-taker greets the caller and inquires about the requested services or information.

If a dispatch is required, the incident is entered into our New World Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. This system integrates all aspects of police, fire, and EMS incident management. There are numerous incident types, ranging from parking complaint and loud music to cardiac emergency, shots fired, or structure fire. Based upon the incident type, the CAD system routes the incident to the appropriate police, fire, and/or EMS dispatcher.

When the dispatcher receives the incident waiting on their status monitor, the CAD system makes a unit recommendation based upon the currently active units, their availability, and post assignment. Fire and EMS units are recommended based upon the nearest station. The priority of the waiting incidents is pre-determined by the severity of the calls nature.  Police "in-progress" or "just occurred" incidents are dispatched under an "agency neutral" policy, where any unit in the vicinity of the incident is immediately dispatched (the "closest" unit to the call).

Wireless telephone calls to the 911 Center are handled in a very similar manner. The major difference would be that the 911 call taker would receive a general location of the caller only if the wireless telephone and wireless company are GPS compliant. If the wireless telephone is GPS compliant the 911 Center receives an approximate latitude and longitude for the caller, which is then converted to a map location by our mapping software.

When an incident is assigned to a field unit, it is received on a Mobile Data Terminal (MDT). These computers allow the field units to read the dispatch information allow police officers to query the local police database, as well as the statewide police network and motor vehicle registration database (DMV) from their cruiser. In this fashion officers may obtain warrant or caution information rapidly, promoting officer safety and efficiency. Through the NCIC network, officers may access criminal justice information nation-wide.

The dispatchers maintain contact with each field unit, managing the available resources to rapidly respond to changing conditions. There are also assistants at dispatch positions, handling officer off-line inquiries, record-keeping tasks, and taking tactical control of critical incidents.

Overseeing the shift floor operations is the shift supervisor. The supervisor is responsible for all aspects of daily operations, from quality control to monitoring of active incidents and personnel, and shift staffing. The current authorized staffing levels for the 9-1-1 Center as vary based on the time of day and day of the week with maximum staffing planned for times of peak demand for service.


Delaware County Emergency Communications receives ever-increasing numbers of 911 calls from wireless devices.  Today close to 61% of all 911 calls come in from wireless telephones. Those calls are located to the best extent possible as the Delaware County 911 is fully FCC Phase One and Phase Two compliant.

When a Phase One wireless call is received at the 911 Center, the tower and often the tower face that transmitted the call are shown on a map displayed at the call taker's position.  This allows the call taker to better estimate the approximate location of the caller if they are unable to provide that location verbally to the call taker. This level of technology is helpful if the caller is able to verbally communicate but is simply unsure of where they are.  It is much less helpful if the caller is totally unable to communicate verbally.

Phase two technology allows the 911 Center to map the location of a caller to within about 100 meters.  This technology can be used to help locate callers that are unable to communicate their location verbally. As a cautionary note this technology is relatively new and location information provided by wireless able to give their location to whatever extent possible.