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Communications

The Columbus Police Department serves as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the Platte County area. All Platte County 9-1-1 phone calls are routed to the Columbus PSAP. Our 9-1-1 call takers are all certified for Emergency Medical Dispatching. The communications center also answers administrative phone lines.

Our Communications Specialists serve in many roles including: call takers, dispatchers, receptionists, secretaries and data entry clerks. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Communications Specialists are called upon to use many differing technologies including: computer aided dispatching, multi-line phone systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), E9-1-1 telephone equipment as well as multi-channel radio equipment.

The face of 9-1-1 has changed over many years. Initial 9-1-1 equipment functioned much like any other telephone except the number remained consistent and rang at the local PSAP. The next evolution of the 9-1-1 system provided information about where the caller was calling from and became known as Enhanced 9-1-1 or E9-1-1. The problem with early E9-1-1 was that it did not take mobile telephones into consideration and only worked for land based phones using phone subscriber databases to provide location information. To provide location information for mobile phones, early implementations used tower triangulation to give a very rough location of where the caller was. Newer cellular telephones are equipped with global positioning receivers that provide very accurate caller location. The newest, but not yet implemented in Nebraska, technology is called Next Generation 9-1-1.  Next Generation 9-1-1 allows for the transmission of rich information (photos, videos, data or text messages) from persons at the scene of incidents to the dispatcher.

The Columbus Police Department Communications Center is funded through wired and wireless telephone surcharges and taxpayer dollars.