E9-1-1 Communications Center
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office E911 Communications Center is staffed 24 hours each day with six operators per shift. Our telephone system is equipped to recognize TTY/TDD machines utilized by the hearing/speech impaired community. We also have the ability to communicate with non-English speaking callers via a Language Line contract service, which provides translations for foreign languages and dialects.
The Communications Center is recognized as an internationally accredited Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). With the assistance of the Office of Professional Standards, the Communications Center has maintained national accreditation as recognized by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). During the most recent assessment we were awarded Gold Standard.
Tips for 911 Use
- Teach your children about calling 911 in case of emergencies and make sure they are familiar with their address and phone number.
- Take the battery out of cell phones without service if given to a child to play with. Even if the phone has no service, it can still call 911
- Always provide the location of your emergency first. As long as your location is known help can be sent even if the call is lost or disconnected.
- Lock the keys to your phone to prevent dialing pre-programmed one-touch emergency notifications while not in use.
- There is no need to program 911 into your auto-dial phone. The number is easily remembered and programming it could lead to an accidental dial.
- If you call 911 by mistake, remain on the line and explain the mistake to the dispatcher. Immediately hanging up may result in a call back and/or possibly having an officer respond to your residence.
- Do not place false calls or texts for service or play with 911. It is a violation of law and is punishable by fine or imprisonment.
Text to 911
In coordination with Comtech Telecommunications Corp., Columbia County E911 is capable of accepting Text-to-911 service with customers subscribing to the major wireless carriers. Text-to-911 should only be used in an emergency situation, when placing a call is not possible. This system will allow an emergency response for callers that are deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would jeopardize the safety of the caller. Don't text and drive! It is a crime to text 911 with a false report. Voice calls are still the best and fastest way to contact 911. Remember, the Text-to-911 service is not available everywhere in Georgia and the U.S.
In 2022 the Communications Center received 51,654 emergency calls and 175,500 non-emergency calls with over 49,800 dispatched calls for service. The center also performed a daily average of 700 calls on the radio, to/from deputies, Harlem Police, and County Marshals that are reporting or responding to calls for service.
Real Time Crime Center
The Communications Center operates the Real Time Crime Center as part of daily operations. The Communications Officers use traffic cameras to assist in locating suspects for crimes in progress, monitor calls for service as a virtual partner to field units, monitor community events, and proactively look for any suspicious activity.
House Watch Program
This free service was designed to allow Columbia County residents peace of mind while on vacation or away. In order to be placed on the House Watch program, contact Dispatch at 706-541-2800 at least 24 hours prior to departure. Once the requested information is entered into our system, deputies will periodically check the house during the day and night. If your plans change after the watch has started, call Dispatch to adjust the times.
This service is dedicated to Columbia County businesses. It allows them to register with the Sheriff's Office in an effort to expedite after-hours and emergency contact. To participate, the Business Registry Form (PDF) must be completed and faxed to Dispatch at 706-541-2821.
Gate Code Registry
The Gate Code Registry is provided by the Sheriff's Office to citizens who have residences and/or businesses that are secured by a passcode-protected entrance. This is to assist deputies responding to emergencies or providing mutual aid at those locations. To be included, the Gate Code Registry Form (PDF) should be completed and faxed to Dispatch at 706-541-2821.
Tours of the Sheriff's Office Communications Center are offered "by appointment" only. To request a tour, you may contact Lieutenant James Moss at 706-541-2800.