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Front Page » March 18, 2003 » Local News » Report documents increase in calls to dispatch center
Published 4,240 days ago

Report documents increase in calls to dispatch center


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By RICHARD SHAW
Staff reporter

Marty Estrada works at his console during his shift at the Carbon Communications Center in Price.

A report released by the Price Communications Center has spelled out the growth in calls coming into county dispatch over the past four years.

The center, which handles calls for all the law enforcement agencies in the county, as well as for other types of organizations and for the I-70 corridor as well, handled 18,867 911 calls in 1998 compared to 8,490 calls for 2002.

"The drop in 911 calls is due to an aggressive education program that we have been doing to educate the public on when they should use the 911 number," said Johna Garner, a supervisor at the center. "The other thing is that the old equipment we had before last year did not count calls correctly and that may have increased the numbers as well."

But 911 calls are only a small portion of the calls that the center. Most calls, by far, are administrative calls and calls for information from the state computer. Those computer info calls include running individuals for warrants, checking drivers licenses, checking on vehicle registrations, etc.

Calls are broken into various categories, depending on what they are for. For instance total administrative calls last year numbered 269,446 for in-bound calls and 44,120 for outbound calls. That's a total of 313,566 total administrative calls last year compared to 1998 when only 224,672 administrative calls were handled. Only records of total administrative calls were kept until last year, so the breakdown between the types is available for 2002 only.

Part of the reason for the increase is that the center is now handling calls for over 30 local, state and federal agencies and organizations in a great deal of eastern and southeastern Utah.

State computer calls are by far the most numerous with the center handling 360,731 calls last year as compared to 342,004 in 1998.

In terms of months the heaviest number of calls last year in a month was February with a total of 59,715 calls. The lowest number of total calls came in January with 43,383. The highest month for 911 calls was October with 799 calls while the lowest was February with 635.

By agency category, the local authorities and organizations utilize the communications center the most. Based on the number of incidents the local agencies utilized the center for 57,482 events. Next came the state agencies which used it for 57,482 incidents. The federal organizations used it to cover for 1544 events and other involved agencies had 204.

An incident is defined as each time someone calls in, such as a call from a citizen, a call from a police agency, etc.

Of the local police agencies, Price City was involved in the most incidents utilizing the center. They incurred 28,347 incidents, while the Carbon County Sheriff's office were involved in 22,163. Other incident counts included the Wellington Police Department with 7,509, the Helper Police Department with 7,286 and the East Carbon Police Department 5,637.

Other incident numbers included the Carbon County Ambulance, 1,874, the Sunnyside Ambulance, 83, Carbon County Animal Control 3,260, the Carbon/Emery Drug Task Force with 262, the Carbon County School Security with 363, and the Carbon County Fire Warden with 864.

In terms of incidents involving the fire departments last years numbers were led by the Price Fire Department with 440. Others involved with the system were the Helper Fire Department, 269, Wellington City Fire Department, 169, Sunnyside Fire, 20, East Carbon Fire, 16 and the Scofield Fire Department had a single incident.

In terms of federal use, the Bureau of Land Management had easily the most incidents with 1,333, while the Moab Fire Center, which the communications center worked closely with during the federal land fires last year had 211.

The center handles all calls for Carbon County, but also handles calls for state agencies like the Utah Highway Patrol, the Utah Department of Transportation, the Division of Wildlife Resources, and others for the Emery, San Juan and Grand County areas.

Those areas have their own communication centers for their local law enforcement and agencies.


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