Communications Division

Members of the Cochise County Communications Center provide law enforcement, fire, and emergency medical dispatch to a huge geographic area comprised of over 6200 square miles.  By combining quality people with modern technology, Communications maintains a consistently high level of service.  The Spillman Data computer aided dispatch (CAD) system combines mapping and dispatching in a format that enhances the ability of communications personnel to prioritize traffic and emergency responders to arrive quickly on scene.  This new generation of CAD also allows dispatchers to "see" police and fire units in the field. (pending MDT)

Combining quality people with modern technology has helped the Cochise County Communications Division maintain consistently high levels of service. Although the Communications division handles over 2100 emergency phone calls a month and dispatches almost 18,000 calls for service a year, through technology our members have been able to consistently provide quality service to those who count on us.

In August of 2000, the Spillman Data computer aided dispatch (CAD) system was placed on-line. The field units are plotted on a detailed map and move as their locations are updated through global positioning technology.   A benefit of this CAD system is that it allows dispatchers to quickly identify the real location of a field unit to determine how to most effectively and efficiently respond to calls for service. Field units are also equipped with the same map and ability to "see" other units.

Personnel Requirements:

The fundamental reason this classification exists is to receive, evaluate, and process all 9-1-1 calls for police, fire, and medical assistance; all non-emergency calls for service, and, to operate base radio equipment to dispatch public safety units to police, fire, and medical related incidents. Depending on the assignment, incumbents may operate a multi-button telephone system, base radios, computer terminals, and teletype equipment to receive, evaluate, and transmit information that frequently involve emergency situations affecting human welfare and safety. Work involves evaluating incoming calls, dispatching field units, and transmitting information and messages upon request and/or according to established procedures. Employees are expected to demonstrate extensive communications skills and to exercise judgment under pressure. Work is performed under the general direction of a Communications Supervisor. Positions require shift, holiday, and weekend work.


Telephone Systems:

Answers and evaluates incoming calls for public safety service to determine urgency of the call and whether a deputy should be dispatched to the scene; Notifies Fire Department of medical emergencies such as attempted suicides, drowning, serious injury accidents, etc.; Appeases and extracts information from citizens under stress; Logs information received and/or transmitted; Uses computer terminals or teletype machine to input, update, and query information; Verifies wants and warrants and interprets data returned to the terminal; Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service.

Radio Dispatch:

Receives coded information requesting law enforcement investigation from the 9-1-1 and administrative calls for service and dispatches to responsible field units; Operates base radio and maintains constant radio contact with mobile units on assigned frequency; Maintains constant awareness of the status of mobile units and updates this information as it changes; Uses computer terminals or teletype machine to input, update, and query information; Receives radio calls from field units and transmits messages via radio or telephone; Monitors and dispatches alarms received at the alarm board. Demonstrates continuous effort to improve operations, decrease turnaround times, streamline work processes, and work cooperatively and jointly to provide quality seamless customer service.

To Be as Part of Our Team You Need:


Knowledge of:

  • ARS Title 13 of the Criminal Code
  • ARS Title 28 of the Traffic Laws
  • ARS Title 4 of the Liquor Laws
  • Civil Law
  • Community Service Programs
  • Emergency procedures.
  • Typewriter keyboard and C.A.D. system command codes.

Skill in:

  • Operating communications equipment quickly and accurately.
  • Multi-button telephones
  • Base radio
  • Computer terminals
  • Teletype equipment

Ability to:

  • Speak with a clear, well-modulated voice in English by phone and radio dispatching equipment while tactfully communicating with highly emotional callers.
  • Operate computer-aided dispatch equipment. Comprehend and make inferences from material written in the English language and learns job-related material primarily through oral instruction, observation, and structured lecture.
  • Operate a variety of standard office equipment.
  • Enter data or information into a terminal, PC, or other keyboard device.
  • Remain in a sitting position for extended periods of time.
  • Work cooperatively with citizens, co-workers, sworn personnel, and other County and agency employees.
  • Learn geographic areas including operating districts and their associated issues.
  • Remain calm and exercise judgment in making decisions in emergency situations under heavy workloads.
  • Determine priorities of emergencies.
  • Work safely without presenting a direct threat to incumbent or others.

Additional Requirements:

  • Must be able to successfully complete the Sheriffs Office Communications Operator Training Course.
  • Appointments to positions in the Sheriff’s Office are subject to meeting appropriate polygraph and background standards.
  • Some positions will require the performance of other essential and marginal functions depending upon work location, assignment, or shift.

Dial 911: When Every Second Counts

When you want an emergency response from a public safety agency, dial 9-1-1.
If it is not an emergency, look up the seven digit number for the agency in the telephone book

How does 9-1-1 work?
When you dial 9-1-1, the system directs your call to a public safety dispatch center operated by your local police, fire or sheriff's department and staffed by highly trained professionals. It is important that you stay on the line and tell the dispatcher what help is needed and where it is needed

Dispatchers are trained to ask you questions that are helpful in determining which agency should respond and how quickly. By answering these questions you are helping them provide the best possible response.

Are there charges for dialing 9-1-1?
There are no charges for dialing 9-1-1 to request assistance, but there may be charges for services provided, such as ambulance transportation. Those charges could result regardless of the number dialed.  You can dial 9-1-1 from any payphone without depositing a coin.

9-1-1 works from car phones too.
If you have a cellular phone, you can dial 9-1-1 and your call will be answered by a dispatcher. There is no charge for a 9-1-1 call from a cellular phone.

Does calling 9-1-1 mean that you will get an immediate response?
All police, fire, and emergency medical services will respond to your need as quickly as possible. If these agencies are busy, a response will be provided in the order of urgency.

What to do when calling 9-1-1.

  • Stay calm. Don't get excited. Take a deep breath.
  • Dial 9-1-1 right away. Don't wait for someone else to call.
  • Tell the person who answers the phone is exactly what is wrong, like this:

" house is on fire."
"...there was just a car accident."
" Dad is hurt; he fell off a ladder and can't move."
"...I'm home alone and someone is trying to break in."

  • Tell them the exact address where help is needed. Be sure to give the FULL address, including any apartment number, suite number, space number, etc.
  • Tell them the phone number you are
  • Tell them your name.
  • DO NOT HANG UP until the person on the telephone tells you to do so. They may need to ask you more questions to help the fire, police, or ambulance to find you.

Other things to know when you call 9-1-1:

  • Give your complete address, including an apartment number or letter.
  • Let the operator control the conversation.
  • Speak loud and clear, but do not scream.

When you dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone, or call the non-emergency number you will be talking to the people who work in the Bisbee Sheriff’s Office.

Please do not call 9-1-1- and:

  • Say, "This is not an emergency, but..."
  • Ask for the Sheriff Department's non-emergency number.  The number is 520-432-9500.
  • Ask for another police department's non-emergency number.   If that police department is in another area code, dial that area code, then 555-1212.
  • Hang up before speaking to the 911 operator. If you do, they will call you back and a squad car may be sent to your home.
  • Report that the power is out at your home, unless it is an emergency. Call your utility service provider.
  • Ask for a weather report. Check the Internet instead.  If your power is out, get a battery-powered radio and stay tuned to a local radio station.

Radio systems provide one of the most essential departmental services; COMMUNICATIONS. The capability of the Cochise County Sheriffs Office to accomplish its mission without an effective communications system would be seriously restricted. For this reason, communication systems and procedures are streamlined, efficient, and standardized. The primary responsibility of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center is patrol officer safety. Additional responsibilities include meeting the public's safety concerns and providing assistance to other agencies as needed.

Our department's communications revolve around accuracy, brevity and clarity in order to ensure patrol officer safety. It is through the application of these principles that the Cochise County Sheriffs Office is successful in handling all phases of communications. Success, speed and safety of the operation remain our primary objectives.