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Jackson's Central Dispatch Surpasses National Average

Kenneth Cummings, Communications Director

In December 2020, the City of Jackson central dispatch department answered 9,498 dispatch line calls and 4,327 911 line calls.

The National Emergency Number Association has established the national standard that 95% of 911 calls should be answered within 20 seconds. The City of Jackson is exceeding that standard by answering 99.95% of calls in 20 seconds or less and 95.84% of calls in 10 seconds or less.


COVID-19 brought along changes to central dispatch

Central Dispatch was also affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.  A set of new questions were asked by dispatch when they received calls for service.

"We had to inquire with individuals that were calling in wanting and requesting officers to come to their location or firemen to come to their location," said LaNonda Jernigan, Director of Central Dispatch. "We had to inquire with those individuals as to have they been out of state; have they been in contact with anyone with COVID."

Cleanliness was also a major factor in keeping Central Dispatch operational.

"Since we work 24-7, 365, we have to keep it as clean as possible all year-round," said Jernigan. "The cleanliness of our building has always been a priority for our department.

Reducing 911 call volume for non-emergency services

The City of Jackson has taken several steps to reduce 911 call volume for non-emergency services and in turn, reduce the average response time. Shorter wait times help central dispatch reduce abandoned calls. People are more likely to hang up and redial when their call is not answered quickly and this can overload call volume.

Every emergency in Jackson starts with central dispatch. They are the city’s lifeline and are responsible for dispatching emergency services including fire, police and ambulance.

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