L to R: Dispatch Shift 4: Michael Hafferty, Keisha Jewett, & Daniel Creasey (not pictured: supervisor Seth Maestas)

Benton Police Department is celebrating dispatchers in honor of National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week. The week is sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International and is an annual celebration of dispatchers worldwide.

“These are the men and women who respond to emergency calls, dispatch emergency professionals and equipment and render life-saving assistance to our citizens,” said BNPD Administrative Lieutenant Curtis Wood.

He added that the work BNPD is able to accomplish wouldn’t be possible without the contribution of the dispatchers. “They are truly the first first responders, though most people don’t recognize them as such.”

Benton Communications is comprised of 16 employees- four supervisors and 12 dispatchers, who make up four shifts. “They are 24/7, providing a constant stream of information to first responders and civilians.”

Keisha Jewett, shift four dispatcher, said one of the most important and helpful things people can remember is detail- especially with regard to location. “I tell everyone to pay attention no matter where you are because in the event of an emergency, knowing your location is key to us getting appropriate help as fast as possible. The more you can tell us about your surroundings, the better.” She also added that it can be a difficult balance to maintain with multiple callers at one time, “but we all pitch in on a call so one person isn’t having to do it all on their own.”

BNPD is highlighting their efforts this week, but Wood said the appreciation for the Communications Center is year-round. “We are blessed with some great employees who help us keep the community as safe as possible, and we hope the community will join us in expressing our gratitude.”  

For more information, contact BNPD at 501-776-5948 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.