MERIDIAN, Idaho — This week is National Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week and Idaho State Police (ISP) is using it as an opportunity to recognize the work done in emergency communication centers across Idaho.
National Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week began in California in the early 1980s with a single law enforcement agency. It has since grown and includes state police, highway patrol, sheriff's offices, police departments and fire and EMS agencies across the nation. In Idaho, public safety agencies across the state count on Emergency Communications Officers (ECOs) as integral partners in the provisioning of public safety services.
ISP has two regional communication centers located in Coeur d'Alene and Meridian. Emergency Communications Officers in these centers answer calls and relay information to ISP Troopers and others across Idaho.
In 2019, the communication centers handled:
- 225,223 Computer-Aided Dispatch calls for service
- 6,430 traffic collisions
- 15,917 911 transfer calls
- 112,724 *ISP (*477) type calls
- 30,256 Administrative phone calls answered
Although official recognition ceremonies for ISP ECOs have been postponed, Idaho State Police Communications Captain Kevin Haight said this about the work done in ISP's Regional Communication Centers.
"The Emergency Communications Officers at the Idaho State Police are the critical link between people who need help and the ISP Troopers who assist them. They work in our communication centers 24 hours per day, 365 days per year, and regularly sacrifice holidays and other important events with friends and family. It is difficult to express just how important the work these people do is to the citizens of Idaho."
In 2017, Idaho passed laws requiring minimum training and certification requirements for ECOs. Each Emergency Communications Officer or dispatcher as they are referred to in some agencies, must complete the Idaho Post Academy basic ECO Training within one year of being hired by a public safety agency. Continuing education of 40-hours every two years is also now required for each POST certified ECO.