Communications is the heartbeat of any law enforcement agency. The Communications Division of the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office operates with fifteen civilian dispatchers and one supervisor. The personnel assigned to this division are responsible for handling all incoming calls from citizens as well as other agencies and to disseminate this information via radio, telephone and computer as needed. This includes all 911 calls received in the Sheriff's Office. The Communications Division receives over two hundred 911 calls per day in addition to the calls received on the non-emergency lines.
The Communications Division is also responsible for dispatching calls to four additional municipalities (Brookwood, Vance, Coaling and Lake View), transferring emergency medical calls to ambulance services via ring down lines, and dispatching for 23 volunteer fire departments.
In keeping with the advantages of modern technology, the Communications Division utilizes computer aided dispatch software and has upgraded its system to accommodate GPS mapping systems and also implemented Phase II E-911. In 2008, the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office installed a new VHF digital radio system to replace the agency's VHF analog system. The new radio system consists of seven repeater antenna sites which provide greater than 95% coverage and reliability throughout the county. Communications is headed by Chief Byron Waid.
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