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Janelle Combs - Communications Director

The Communications Center is crucial in the Portales Police Department’s ability to respond and resolve emergency situations throughout the city of Portales and Roosevelt County. The PPD Communications Center answers all calls for emergency services, on average, our dispatchers answer 1,685 calls each month.

PPD has approximately 13 dispatcher positions, and each one needs to be mentally and emotionally prepared to handle the intense and occasional traumatic calls. There are times when the 911 calls are minor issues and then other times these calls are coming in from people are from family members fearing the worst for their unresponsive loved ones. Although such calls can be emotionally challenging, our dispatchers remain calm and level headed in spite of the crisis on the other end of the line.

According to an article in Business Insider, emergency dispatchers routinely endure some of the most nerve-wrenching shifts in the country. On average, police, fire, and ambulance dispatchers score a 98.5 out of 100 for stress tolerance on the O*NET stress factor scoring system where higher numbers correlate with higher stress levels. In addition, the average dispatcher has a time pressure score of 68.3 and a consequence of error score of 86. For a profession that stands between life and death for many people, these scores are not surprising.