Communications / 9-1-1






Service and Communications

Emergency and routine communications (Dispatch) for Police and 911 Call taking for Fire and Medical assistance in South Lane County are the responsibility of the South Lane County 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (SoLCOMM ). The PSAP is housed within the Cottage Grove Police Department and open 24 hours a day with one Communication Specialist on duty at all times.

The responsibilities of the Telecommunications Center include:

  • Emergency and routine police dispatch
  • Receiving and relaying Emergency Medical and Fire calls to Central Lane 911
  • Police business telephone reception
  • Counter reception
  • Computer entry and records searches. 
  • Statewide Teletype communications
  • Alarm and jail monitoring
  • Communications coordination between agencies
  • Miscellaneous essential clerical tasks

The Communications Center has 5 full-time employees and 1 Reserve Volunteer Dispatcher who are all trained and certified by the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Call Taking, first aid, CPR and emergency medical dispatch. Telecommunicators must complete their training at the DPSST Academy in Salem and upon successful completion are awarded their basic certification.  Intermediate and Advanced certifications are awarded when the required training and continuing education credits are completed.

Custom Micro Inc. supplies the department with the software necessary
for Computer Aided Dispatching, Records Keeping, and much more. Visit their web site at

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Responsibilities of the 9-1-1 Dispatcher

Emergency medical and fire call taking for the entire South Lane fire district. This area is between the Douglas County border on the south, Creswell on the north, Dorena in the east to Lorane in the west. During a large fire or motor vehicle accident, it's not unusual for the dispatcher to take 50/60 911 calls in a 10 minute period. Every call must be handled as quickly as possible but each one must be screened quickly and efficiently because hiding somewhere in that barrage may be another problem like a heart attack victim. Each call is screened to determine the type and location of the emergency then transferred to Central Lane 911 in Eugene who is responsible for dispatching the appropriate personnel and resources.

Emergency and routine police dispatch for the city as well as 911 call taking in the surrounding county area (same as South Lane fire district.)  Within the city limits, Cottage Grove police officers are dispatched. In the surrounding county area calls are transferred to the appropriate agency who has jurisdiction in the area of the call such as the Oregon State Police or Lane County Sheriff's Office.

Police business telephone reception for the city. This is where citizens report crimes and request assistance of a non-emergency nature. Each year the centers handles several thousand calls for service, many which require the completoin of police reports. Some of these calls come through the 911 lines but the majority of them were received through the business telephone lines. The calls vary in nature but range from requests for vacation house checks to bank robberies and domestic assault.

Counter reception. The dispatch center has many visitors every day with business that can't be handled over the phone such as picking up report copies, bringing in evidence or paperwork, requesting fingerprints, requesting to talk to an officer or investigator, registering bicycles, picking up impounded vehicles/dogs, etc..

Computer entry and records searches are performed by the dispatcher whenever requested by an officer or investigator. This ranges from a simple vehicle or operator's license check during a traffic stop to criminal history checks of person's arrested by this agency.

Statewide Teletype communications are the messages that must be sent out to other agencies concerning local crimes, wanted person checks, stolen vehicles, missing persons, etc.

Alarm and jail monitoring. We have eight jail cells located in the basement and two holding cells, one downstairs and one upstairs. Each of these cells are monitored by audio and video equipment with displays in the dispatch center. The dispatcher must constantly be aware of the condition of any prisoners and must coordinate an hourly "jail check" for those prisoners kept downstairs.

Communications coordination between agencies. The dispatcher must keep other agencies apprised of conditions that may impact those agencies.  We monitor radio communications for those agencies and assist with relaying messages from deputies and troopers who are unable to directly contact their agencies while conducting business in the South Lane County Area. 

Miscellaneous essential clerical tasks covers all the other routine tasks that the dispatcher must do, such as copying, filing and making the computer entries that pertain to the officer's activities. Each call that comes in is entered in the computer system. The dispatcher must document all staff activity in the computer as well as things like vehicle mileage for fuel, etc..


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