January 3, 2011 is a very important date in the history of Clinton County. Why? It marked the beginning of a new concept called the Clinton County Central Dispatch Center in the basement of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was brand new for all us starting a new dispatch center consolidating three centers for Frankfort Police, the Sheriff’s Office and Frankfort Fire into one,” said Clinton County Central Dispatch Director Renee Crick. “It’s hard to believe, but the time really has flown by. But, we’ve continued to grow and we will continue to grow.”
What does Central Dispatch do? According to Crick, a little bit of everything.
“We dispatch all police, fire and EMS,” said Crick. “That’s a big job and it’s a stressful job. We take all 911 calls. .Anybody in Clinton County that calls 911. We have eight administrative lines for the city police and sheriff that we answer. We’re here 24/7. Everybody calls us because they expect us to have the answer for a multitude of things.”
Crick said her department handled around 33,000 dispatch calls last year which means calls for service that they actually sent someone out on.
“We take way more calls than that,” said Crick. “We get a lot of calls for just basic information that people are looking for guidance on who they need to talk to.”
When asked what the biggest thing she is most proud, Crick said her employees — without a doubt.
“We have a lot of great dedicated employees,” said Crick. “They do an excellent job and they have the heart to. They care about people. That’s what we’re here for.”
As far as the future is concerned, Crick says as long as technology continues to grow, they will be along for the ride.
“It’s grown so much from when I started dispatching back in 1990 from a typewriter to communications,” said Crick. “We’re continuing to grow with Next Gen 911. I think in the very near future we will see video in the dispatch center. We’re already texting to and from 911.”
Back in August, Crick and her staff received a visit from Indiana State Treasurer Kelly Mitchell, who is also the chair of the Statewide 911 Board. She made Frankfort the first stop of a month-long tour of the top PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) around the Hoosier state.
Crick said she had no idea that Frankfort was one of the top 25 PSAPs in the state to be utilizing the text to 911.