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Telecommunications Department

Location
908 SE 14th St
Bentonville, AR 72712
Hours
General Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
Front Lobby 24-hour access
for police related services
Contact
Dispatch:
479.271.3170
TTY: 479.271.3182
Records:
479.271.5900
Quick Links

Telecommunications Division

The Bentonville Police, Fire, and EMS Telecommunications Center is the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the visitors and citizens of the City of Bentonville. Staffed 24/7, the Telecommunications Center's goal is to provide the City of Bentonville's citizens and visitors a professional, efficient, and courteous connection to police, fire, and EMS services. Our trained employees are there to assist the public with police, fire, and EMS emergencies and non-emergency situations. However, if you have a non-emergency, please DO NOT call 9-1-1; please call the non-emergency number at 479-271-3170.

Knowing what to Expect

When calling 9-1-1, we understand that the situation you are in can be extremely stressful.  During this time, it is important to remain as calm as possible and speak clearly.  Should you be calling from a cellular telephone, your location may not always be know as traditionally available through use of a landline telephone.  Therefore, it is very improtant, if possible, that you are able to give your exact location or prepared if possible to provide help like landmarks, businesses, or other descriptive visuals that would help identify your location.

When the 9-1-1 Call is Answered by a Telecommunicator

As soon as a telecommunicator answers an emergency 9-1-1 call, he or she will answer, "Bentonville 9-1-1, what is the address of the emergency?" Once you provide your location, the telecommunicator will attempt to verify that location with the location provided by the 9-1-1 service. Once verified, the telecommunicator will tell you, "That's what I'm showing on my screen." The telecommunicator will then ask, "What's the phone number you are calling from?" and repeat, "That's what I'm showing on my screen" if that matches 9-1-1. The telecommunicator will then ask, "Okay, tell me exactly what happened?" In order to get the right help to you, we need to know what is happening or has happened.

After gathering the emergency information and depending on the type of emergency you have, the telecommunicator will dispatch the appropriate emergency service (police, fire, or ambulance) to your location, but continue to ask questions related to your emergency or situation, as well as update the responding emergency service(s). This is NOT delaying any help to you; the telecommunicator continues to gather helpful information for the emergency responders and assess if any additional emergency services you may need. In many instances, the telecommunicator will ask that you remain on the line until help arrives to you.

Understanding Emergency 9-1-1 Cellular Phone Calls

When calling 9-1-1 on a cellular phone, a cellular telephone tower picks up the signal and directs it to the nearest Telecommunications Center or PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). Depending upon which tower that best detects your cellular device, a different PSAP will possibly answer your emergency call. Answering in a similar fashion as explained earlier and upon determining your correct location, this PSAP may transfer your emergency 9-1-1 call to the correct PSAP. Although technologies have improved and continue to improve, please understand there are times that we cannot determine your exact location. Keep in mind the following:

• State your location and your emergency. Knowing your location will help responders get emergency services to you faster.
• If you are driving, pull over if possible. This will help prevent dropped calls and assist in verifying your correct location.
• If the line is disconnected, call back on 9-1-1 and let the telecommunicator know of the previously disconnected call. In many cases, a telecommunicator will also attempt to call back any disconnected emergency 9-1-1 call.

Disconnected Cellular Phones

There are a few things to know about cellular telephones disconnected from cellular service when calling in on 9-1-1. A disconnected or inactive cell phone can still dial 9-1-1. If it powers ON, then it can call 9-1-1. The disconnected phone does not have a valid phone number and if the call is interrupted, we CANNOT call you back if you have an emergency. You will have to call us back so it is important to stay on the line and not hang up. However, we may still be able to get your location. If we are able to get the cellular phone's location, a police officer will respond to your location.

Accidental Calls to 9-1-1 are possible and we understand that as well. If you call in to 911 by accident, please DO NOT hang-up. Stay on the line and tell the operator that it was an accidental dial. You will receive a call back if you hang up, even if you think the call did not have time to go through. It is a good idea to keep your cellular telephone screen locked when not in use to prevent this from happening.

Disconnected Cellular Phone Trade-in Program

If you are going to give your old cellular telephone to a child to play with as a toy, please remove the battery so the phone does not accidentally dial 9-1-1. Batteries in these devices pose a health and or explosive risk. Please take the battery to an authorized recycle facility.

The Bentonville Police Department's Telecommunications Center is assisting with a 9-1-1 Cell Phone Trade in Program as a way to prevent accidental 9-1-1 calls by children and a way to help others. Accidental calls from disconnected "toy" cellular phones can tie up emergency lines, preventing actual emergency 9-1-1 calls from getting through. Old, disconnected, even non-working cell phones may be "traded in" for a new toy (when supplies are available) or donated. The partnering company can refurbish or use these phones as parts and distribute the phones for persons needing an emergency communication device.

9-1-1 Education for Kids

Our Telecommunications Center also assists in educating 1st grade classes in the Bentonville School District and surrounding areas in the use of 9-1-1 and what to do in case of an emergency. These telecommunicators also attend Bentonville 1st Friday events, the Benton County Fair and Emergency Preparedness Fair, as well as other invited events to educate the public on proper use of 9-1-1.