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Sunday, June 23, 2024

Hackett Focuses on Emergency Education


The City of Hackett has taken an educational approach to informing their residents on the elements that make up a good neighborhood watch program, and the effectiveness of how to properly report suspicious activity.
Hackett Police Chief, Darrell Spells stated “When I took this position, I wanted to incorporate certain community elements, and the neighborhood watch was one of them.”
With its first meeting back in July, Spells wanted this meeting to focus on educating citizens on several elements that play a vital role into assessing a situation, and how to determine if it’s an emergency, or non-emergency.

Chief Spells displays a video from an actual 911 call showing the radio traffic from law enforcement during a felony stop. The relevance of the video was to show the public what officers do behind the scenes illustrating their location to dispatch, and to fellow officers. ALL information is relevant, and extremely specific.

Renee Nichols, Communications Coordinator for Sebastian Co. Sheriff’s Office, thoroughly discusses the key elements as to what a 911 dispatcher goes through to assess each, and every call. Again, it’s all in the details.

Nichols stated the core motto to law enforcement is “When you need us, we will come!”
Listening to another 911 example, with the relay between the dispatcher, and the person making the call, it’s readily apparent that you will most likely act differently in a stressful situation. Not remembering simple things such as your name, and address, or realizing the rate at which you are talking.
What the 911 dispatcher needs to know:
– Who did it? / What’s your emergency?
– What was done? (Assessing the situation)
– Where did it happen? (Location)
– When did it happen?
– Why (if you know)?
They will also ask your name, your phone number, your address, and anything else YOU think is important.
Nichols illustrated to the attendees multiple aspects of what is an emergency call, and what is not. Several possible scenarios that she has personally witnessed was discussed to dissect such a call, on both sides of the emergency, and non-emergency side.
ALL emergency calls within Sebastian County should go through the 911 dispatcher. Non-Emergency should go the  479-783-1051 number.
One important topic was how technology plays a vital role in emergency calls. “Trust me, what you see on TV is not how it happens. We have to take in a lot of unknown variables to each call” noted Nichols.
She went on to say that if you have any health condition in which could incapacitate yourself during a potential emergency, registering through Smart 911 is a great idea. By registering your information, housing, and pertinent information, a profile is created and can be accessed during an emergency call.
Thank you Chief Spells for your commitment to our community, and organizing this neighborhood watch program in Hackett. Thank you Renee Nichols for giving us information that we all can use to be more educated, and keep things safer for our families.

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