Salem Dispatcher's Move Back to Salem Police Department
Dispatchers Have Been Working Out of Centralia Dispatch Since November 2nd After Lightning Strike Caused Serious Damage
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Telecommunicators Mike Anderson and Justin Draper, Deputy Chief Susan Miller, and Telecommunicator Roger Mann in the Salem Police Dispatch Center.
Photo by Bruce Kropp

The Salem Police Department dispatch center had repairs completed in time for dispatch services to return before the end of the year.

The electronics at the Salem Police Station were severely damaged by a November second lightning strike that destroyed the phone and radio dispatch console. New systems have now been installed for both. Because of the complexity of the radio and 911 system, installation and programming was lengthy.

Salem Deputy Police Chief Susan Miller is thanking the public for their cooperation and understanding while dispatch was relocated to the Centralia Police Department.

"While it was difficult to have to deal with the equipment malfunctions it was a good learning process for the officers to have to walk in the shoes of the telecommincators for a bit and a good opportunity for the dispatchers in Salem and Centralia to work together. They hear each other's voices and talk over the phone but they really don't get to communicate face-to-face very often."

Miller also thanked the telecommunicators for their extra time in having to commute to the Centralia Police Department and to all those in the department who got assigned to handle non-emergency calls at the Salem Police Department.

The cost of the new phone and radio systems as well as the overtime incurred will be covered by the city and 911 phone system insurance policies.

Salem Telecommunicator Justin Draper works the controls of the new radio console and dispatch center.
Photo by Bruce Kropp

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