OFFICE: (770) 477-3556 / FAX: (770) 477-3501 / TDD/TTY: (770) 473-3908


General Information

Major Debbie Dean

Commanded by Major Debbie Dean, the 911 center receives and dispatches emergency and non-emergency calls for police, sheriff, fire and emergency medical service. The center is staffed by state-certified Communications Officers who are trained to answer and process 911 and other emergency telephone calls and dispatch public safety responders using state-of-the-art communications equipment. These Communications Officers are also trained to communicate with communication impaired callers using TDD technology and people with language barriers of all types.

The Communications/911 center is actively involved in public education and community outreach projects. Our employees have voluntarily worked on such projects as "Sensational Saturday", hospice activities, Arts Clayton Christmas parade, and numerous other community based programs on their own time. We continually present programs to school-aged children on the proper use of 911 and other safety issues. For more information about our public education or community outreach programs, contact Terri Edmonson at 770-477-3772. Terri can help you arrange a field trip and tour of our center or schedule a presentation tailored specifically to your organization.

Clayton County's Unauthorized Alarm Division is located in the Communications/911 Center. Any information regarding residential or business alarm system installation and regulations may be obtained by contacting Beverly McMichen at 770-472-8188.

Tracking 911 Calls

Clayton County Leads The State In Implementing A Tracking System For Wireless 911 Calls

Clayton County made history on February 12, 2003 when it implemented the state's first wireless tracking system to be used by a 911 center. This state-of-the-art system eliminates most of the problems 911 operators face when taking an emergency 911 call from a wireless phone.

According to Clayton County Communications, 40 percent of Clayton County's 911 call volume is from wireless phones. Unlike wireline calls from homes and businesses, which include the name, phone number and address, wireless calls are often made by people who are unsure of their location. This is especially a problem for someone who is traveling through the county and is unfamiliar with the area.

The technology now exists to provide 911 centers with the longitude and latitude information from where a 911 call originates. Clayton County is currently receiving this information from AT&T and VERIZON and has requested this information from all other cellular providers.

The longitude/latitude information is received in numeric form and is automatically sent from the 911 system to the integrated computerized mapping system. The mapping system gives a graphical view of where the caller is located within approximately 125 meters.

Unauthorized Alarm Division

Alarm Administrator: Cherry Childs
Hours: 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday - Friday
Office: 770-472-8188 FAX: 770-477-3501

The Unauthorized Alarm Division is responsible for the enforcement of Clayton County Code of Ordinances, Chapter 54: Law Enforcement, Article III - Alarm Systems. You may review this Code Section in its entirety at www.Municode.com.

An unauthorized (false) alarm occurs when your monitoring company calls E911 Dispatch to request police or other emergency personnel response to your alarm location, and there is NO tangible evidence of forced intrusion, criminal activity, fire or medical emergency, or similar occurrence found by the emergency responder. The purpose of Article III is to regulate the installation and use of alarm systems, to establish standards for control of and maintenance of the various alarm systems that are intended to bring about emergency personnel response, and to provide for user fees and penalties for violations. Property owners, tenants and/or management companies are considered alarm users where any alarm system is installed and activated. Current name and contact information is required by this enforcement agency for any alarm system located in the jurisdiction of the Clayton County Police Department. No annual registration fee is currently required.

Only 3 police responses to false alarms are allowed within the consecutive 365-days prior to the date a false alarm occurs. Exceeding 3 false alarms in said period will result in charges as follows:

1 - 3 false alarms in consecutive 365 days prior to the date of false alarm: No Charge
4 - 6 false alarms in consecutive 365 days prior to the date of false alarm: $ 25 per dispatch
Any alarm over 6 alarms in consecutive 365 days prior to the date of false alarm: $ 50 per dispatch

Payment for false alarm charges should be remitted ONLY as directed on the invoice.

Over 9 false alarms in consecutive 365 days may result in an alarm user being issued a summons to appear in court for violation of this Code Section. Anyone found guilty of a violation of this Code Section may receive an additional fine of up to $ 1000 and/or up to 60 days in jail, at the Court's discretion; and, any business license issued by Clayton County may be reviewed for suspension or revocation.

Public Education / Community Outreach

Outreach Representative: Terri Edmonson
Hours: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday - Friday
Office: 770-477-3772

The Clayton County 911/Public Education department has age-specific programs available to the students of Clayton County Public School system. These programs are presented by a representative from our department at no cost to the school system.

The objectives of our programs are:

• To introduce students to 911
To stress the importance of knowing their address and phone number
How to interact with 911 personnel
How to recognize an emergency
How to summon help

All programs are interactive, fun, exciting, and give valuable information the child can apply to everyday life.

First Grade 9-1-1 Lesson - "911 How It's Done"

Lesson Plan: The Public Education/Community Outreach Representative will read the interactive book, 9-1-1, How It's Done, afterwards the students will practice calling 911 on a simulator. This will reinforce the importance of knowing how to dial 911, knowing their address and phone number. The remainder of students color in booklets provided by the Clayton County Communications Department. Students will learn: when to dial 9-1-1, what information to give the 9-1-1 dispatcher, how to recognize dangerous situations, and how to act in emergencies.

Time needed: 45 to 55 minutes

Preparation: Students should be seated on a rug in the reading area. Each student should have his/her name, address, and phone number on an index card to use during the activity. If this is not an option, the teacher can supply the necessary information for the student.

Third Grade 9-1-1 Lesson - "911 How, When, and Why you Call"

Lesson Plan: The Public Education/Community Outreach Representative will lead the class through the interactive booklets provided by the Clayton County Communications Department. Students will learn: when to dial 9-1-1, what information to give the 9-1-1 dispatcher, how to recognize dangerous situations, and how to act in emergencies

Time needed: 45 to 55 minutes

Preparation: Students should be sitting in desks with pencils and crayons/markers ready to work in booklets. Each student should have his/her name, address, and phone number on an index card to use during the activity. If this is not an option, the teacher can supply the necessary information for the student.

To schedule a presentation or if you have any questions about our programs, contact Terri Edmondson. Please specify which program you are interested in. Organizations and School Groups can contact us for a facility tour.

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.'s)
What types of incidents should be reported to 911?
Any incident that threatens health, life, or property should be reported to 911. Crimes that are in progress, threatened or have already occurred as well as fires or medical problems requiring emergency assistance are some examples.
What types of things should not be reported to 911?
We encourage citizens to find alternative solutions to problems such as a cat in the tree, keys locked in a car, or power outages. The 911 center dispatches public safety personnel to emergency situations. In most cases, those personnel can not assist with the problems mentioned above.

The 911 center is also not prepared to give directions, weather reports or answer questions about school closings. Remember, 911 is for emergencies. If the lines are tied up with non-emergency calls, you may not be able to get help as quickly as you need it in your own emergency.
What if I'm not sure whether my situation is an emergency or not?
We realize that most citizens do not have public safety training. Any time you think you need emergency assistance, or if you’re not sure, call us. We are trained to determine the severity of situations and send appropriate help
Why does the 911 operator ask so many questions? If I call with an emergency, time is crucial. Isn't the operator wasting time by asking for so much information? How long do most 911 calls last?
911 operators are trained to ask specific questions to determine the most appropriate response by public safety officers. Normally your call is taken by a call-taker who enters the information you give them into a computer system. Your call information is then automatically routed to the appropriate dispatcher who often times dispatches help to you before you ever hang-up with the call-taker.
How long do most 911 calls last?
We handle an average of 16,700 calls per month. On average 911 calls to Clayton County 911 last for 67 seconds.
What if something happens to me and I can't speak? How can 911 help me?
When you dial 911 from a traditional telephone, one that is wired into a house or other building, the location from which you are calling is displayed on a computer screen in front of the 911 operator. If you can not speak, either because of a communications impairment, illness, or crime in progress, a police officer is sent to the location to check for any trouble.

If you are ill or are being kept from talking by an intruder, leave the telephone off the hook. Any noise that we can hear will help us determine the most appropriate response. Often, in cases of domestic violence, the victim leaves the telephone off the hook and the call-taker was able to determine the nature of the situation more quickly and send the most appropriate law enforcement response.
I have a hearing impairment and can not communicate over a regular telephone line. What should I do if I need help in an emergency?
Every 911 Operator at Clayton County has been trained on the proper use of a TDD/TTY. Our employees conduct several tests a week to ensure that not only are the machines working, but that they know how to answer and place TDD/TTY calls. There is never any need to dial a separate number for TTD/TTY calls or to place these calls through a relay service. If you need help, just dial 911. Your call will be placed on the TDD/TTY and handled just like a call from someone without a communications impairment.
Can I call 911 from my cellular or PCS phone?
Yes, although wireless calls present special problems for 911 centers and callers. Calls from wireless (cellular and PCS) calls are sent to the 911 center closest to the cell site that your call is routed through. For example, you may be in Clayton County, place a 911 call on your cell phone and get Fayette County instead because the cell tower handling your call is actually in the Fayette County. Be aware of this possibility when placing cellular 911 calls. Your call may take a few extra minutes because of the mis-route.

Another thing to remember about wireless 911 calls is that your location is not automatically displayed like it is on traditional phones. Cellular technology does not yet allow for your location to be pinpointed by the 911 system. If you are not familiar with your exact location, it is crucial that you give as much information about your surroundings as possible.

The rule of thumb is that if you have access to a traditional telephone in an emergency, use it. Although wireless telephone providers, the FCC, and 9-1-1 organizations are working together we are still a few years away from making cellular 911 as effective as traditional 911 service.
Why are some calls to 9-1-1 transferred to a police officer?
Some types of reports can be taken over the telephone. Transferring these non-emergency incident reports to a watch officer frees up patrol officers to respond to more critical events.
Why am I charged a 911 subscriber fee on my telephone bill?
911 subscriber fees support the entire operation of your 911 system, from salaries to training and equipment. Without the 911 subscriber fee, we could not continue to provide 911 service.
How do I become a 911 dispatcher?
You must be prepared for this exciting, challenging, and stress-filled career. The minimum qualifications are the ability to pass a criminal background check, physical examination and drug screening. Have a high school diploma or its equivalent, an ability to type on a computer keyboard, an ability to hear within the required range, and the ability to speak the English language clearly. All employees are required to be available to work any shift (7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.; 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. or 11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.), weekends and holidays.
What kind of training do 911 operators receive?
911 operators must receive a state mandated minimum of forty hours of training to become certified communications officers. However, at Clayton County, our operators receive well beyond the mandated minimum. On average, our new employees receive an average of two-hundred hours of classroom training and four-hundred hours of on-the-job training before they ever attend the certification class.

Employees receive training in call receiving; CPR; computer aided dispatching; crime information computers; fire equipment and apparatus usage; and general law enforcement information. Employees are given the opportunity to practice their skills during simulated incident training before being assigned to the dispatch center. During the on-the-job training phase, operators learn hands-on application of skills and knowledge gained in the classroom under the close supervision of an experienced Communications Training Officer.

Basic Communications Officer training, provided by the state, consists of instruction on Communications Officer ethics and responsibilities; liability; crisis intervention; communications impaired callers; call-taking, law enforcement, fire, and medical dispatching; radio operations, and emergency management.

Veteran 911 dispatchers receive in-service training including CPR and emergency medical dispatching which allows them to provide pre-arrival instructions during medical emergencies.

(770) 477-3747
EMAIL: webmaster@claytonpolice.com