Columbus-Platte County Joint Communications Center
The Columbus-Platte County Joint Communications Center serves as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the Platte and Polk County area. All Platte and Polk County 9-1-1 phone calls are routed to the Columbus PSAP. The Communications Center also answers administrative phone lines for the Columbus Police Department, Platte County Sheriff’s Office, and Polk County Sheriff’s Office. The Communications Center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The Columbus-Platte County Joint Communications Center is overseen by a committee of two City officials, two County officials, and a member-at-large, and is funded by wired and wireless telephone surcharges and taxpayer dollars.
Our Communications Specialists complete a 40-hour Public Safety Telecommunicator course, are certified for Emergency Medical Dispatching, complete a twelve-week on the job training program, and complete continuing education hours annually. The Communications Specialists are called upon to use many differing technologies including: computer aided dispatching, multi-line phone systems, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), E9-1-1 telephone equipment as well as multi-channel radio equipment.
The face of 9-1-1 has changed over many years. Initial 9-1-1 equipment functioned much like any other telephone except the number remained consistent and rang at the local PSAP. The next evolution of the 9-1-1 system provided information about where the caller was calling from and became known as Enhanced 9-1-1 or E9-1-1. The problem with early E9-1-1 was that it did not take mobile telephones into consideration and only worked for land based phones using phone subscriber databases to provide location information. To provide location information for mobile phones, early implementations used tower triangulation to give a very rough location of where the caller was. Newer cellular telephones are equipped with global positioning receivers that provide very accurate caller location. The newest, but not yet implemented in Nebraska, technology is called Next Generation 9-1-1. Next Generation 9-1-1 allows for the transmission of rich information (photos, videos, and data or text messages) from persons at the scene of incidents to the dispatcher.