The Communications Division is a division with in the Greenville City Police Department, it is compromised of 31 civilian employees. The specialists are assigned to one of four twelve hour shifts, each shift has a Communications Shift Supervisor and at least five specialists on the floor answering calls.
In 2021, the Greenville City Police Department answered over 290,000 phone calls. Our call volume is busiest between the hours of 10:00 a.m.- 11:00 p.m., with an average of 700 calls answered per day. The Communications Bureau answers emergency calls for service on 911 lines, as well as the non-emergency line at (864) 271-5333.
Our Communications Specialists are trained on all positions in the Communications Bureau, this includes call taking, police, fire, and animal control dispatching and NCIC. They also acquire South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Basic 911, APCO Public Safety Telecommunicator, APCO Fire Communications, SLED/NCIC, and GPD Communications Training Program certifications.
The division is responsible for managing the false burglar alarm process for the department. City ordinance provides for a false burglar alarm fee schedule in an effort to reduce excessive false alarms.
Thinking about a career as a Communications Specialist?
Becoming a Communications Specialist is an excellent place to start or continue in a career where you make a difference. Employees learn the conceptual fundamentals of public safety and develop the skills to effectively use the equipment, speak with callers, and process policy driven protocol while handling emergency situations. The knowledge and confidence gained through the training and on the job experience helps employees to grow in ways they never dreamed.
Steps to become a Communications Specialist with the Greenville Police Department
- Complete the application at https://jobs.greenvillesc.gov/Public/default.aspx
- Administration will determine if qualifications have been met
- Administration will make contact to schedule an interview and simulation test
- Criminal History check
- Three references will be contacted by Administration
- A 2 hour observation in the Communications Division will be scheduled
- Referral to the city appointed staffing agency. A background and drug screening will be completed by the staffing agency.
- Administration will make contact with a date and time to report for duty.
After a minimum of 3 months in training, the Communications Specialist Trainee will be eligible to complete the hiring process with the City of Greenville. This process includes a drug screen, polygraph exam, and psychological evaluation and vision/hearing exam.
When should I call 9-1-1?
9-1-1 should be used to report life threatening emergencies, crimes in progress, medical issues, fires or any situation where there potential for violence.
What if I call 9-1-1 for something that is not an emergency?
You will be asked to call the non-emergency number, 864-271-5333. If you are not familiar with the non-emergency number the operator will provide you with it.
Can I text 9-1-1? When should I use text to 9-1-1?
Yes, you can text 9-1-1. Text to 9-1-1 can be used in many circumstances. If you're in a situation where you can not speak to a Communications Specialist to answer questions, situations such as a home burglary/home invasion, a domestic assault, hostage situation, kidnapping, you are unable to get voice service, etc. We do encourage that you call 9-1-1 when you can though.
Why do I have to give my location when calling? Don't you know where I am?
When calling 9-1-1 your location is the most important piece of information you can provide to a Communications Specialist. If you are calling from a landline, we will ask you to verify the address. If you are calling from a wireless device, we receive an approximate location of the caller. We will always ask for your exact location to make sure we are sending help to the location it is needed.
Why does the Communications Specialist continue to ask me questions?
The information that the Communications Specialist is asking is being relayed to the dispatcher and then given out to the officers responding, this does not delay the officers response. The situation the officer is responding to can change quickly, it is important to answer the questions to the best of your ability to keep you, citizens and officers safe. The questions asked will also help the officer catch the bad guy and respond per the agencies policies.
What should I do if I call 9-1-1 accidently
We ask that you stay on the line and tell the Communications Specialist that 9-1-1 was dialed by mistake. When you call 9-1-1 and immediately hang up, the call will still connect to the closest 9-1-1 center. If you disconnect, the Communications Specialist will attempt to call back, this delays the Communications Specialist from answering 9-1-1 calls that may be a real emergency call.
Can a disconnected cell phone still call 9-1-1?
Yes, it can. A charged disconnected cell phone still has the ability to call 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. Please keep in mind if you have an old cell phone that you are letting your child play with, it can call 9-1-1 and tie up a Communications Specialist up from answering an emergency call.
Are Communications Specialists Police Officers?
No, Communications Specialists are not Police Officers. Communications Specialists are civilian employees.