Emergency Communications Division (ECD)
The Emergency Communications Division is organized as its own Division within the Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office and is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year supporting operations through an ever-changing emergency communications infrastructure. The Division is responsible for answering all administrative calls for the Sheriff’s Office while also answering all 911 emergency calls and dispatching all emergency responses in Goodhue County. The E911 Dispatch Center is truly the heartbeat of the County.
The ECD, under the command of the Communications Captain, employs 12 full-time employees who include 4 Dispatch Sergeant and 8 Dispatchers. They provide enhanced E911 telephone service and Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) to assist in efficient dispatching of Police and Fire calls for seven (7) Police agencies, seven (7) Fire Departments and ten (10) Emergency Medical Services. They are the “life-line” to the deputies, officers, and emergency responders. Requests from the responders to contact other agencies are carried out by the 911 Dispatch Center. These requests may include contacting utility companies, public works, or assistance from other law enforcement agencies. Being a dispatcher is among the most stressful positions within the Sheriff’s Office.
The Emergency Communication Division stays innovative by implementing and maintaining mission critical telecommunications, enterprise level databases and modern-day hardware. Employees in the division receive additional training, such as, Incident Tactical Dispatchers (INTD), Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM) and/or Communication Technicians (COMT) when requested. The mission is to ensure information is effectively communicated for safe and efficient service to the community and to properly manage the infrastructure of the Sheriff’s Office for continuous and effective service.
Currently, the Sheriff’s ECD operates and maintains a large 700/800MHz simulcast digital radio system in cooperation with the Southeast Emergency Communications Board and the State of Minnesota. Goodhue County’s simulcast radio network is part of the ARMER statewide radio system. This provides interoperable communications to all 980 public safety radio subscribers within Goodhue County and any transient radio subscribers. The Sheriff’s ECD provides users throughout the county with guidance on purchasing new radio equipment, decommissioning old equipment and maintaining current radio communications equipment. The Communications Captain serves as the System Administrator for County’s radio network.