By Ron VandenBoom
Havre Police Department's new dispatch center is now fully operational, announced Police Captain Mark Stolen Tuesday.
The new dispatch center means that Havre residents now have a 24-hour downtown location where they can walk in to get assistance or lodge a complaint a service that disappeared when the Sheriff's Office moved to its new home on West Second Street.
It also means the Havre Police Department is now capable of handling all calls for the Havre Police and for all emergencies that may require the attention of city services.
The dispatch center is located in the Havre Police Department at 520 Fourth Street in Havre.
Four full-time and three part-time employees will man the new center.
Stolen said all of the new dispatchers are also certified operators of the CJIN (Criminal Justice Information Network) computer that is also located in the dispatch center.
The CJIN system allows dispatchers instant access to criminal histories and other documented information on suspects.
That information can then be provided to officers in the field through the dispatch center.
The CJIN system also allows dispatchers access to the NCIC (National Criminal Information Center) where they can quickly obtain information from the FBI or other nation-wide sources.
"It connects us with the rest of the world," Stolen said.
Three phones are also now a part of the dispatch center that during the day, when according to Stolen, there is a lot of additional traffic up to the window, allows much needed help to be provided answering phones.
The dispatch center will also have the capability of handling other calls that may need to be directed to city agencies such as the Havre Fire Department or the Public Works Department.
Stolen emphasized that anything that happens within the city limits of Havre can now be handled through the dispatch center.
He also emphasized that there has been no change to Hill County's 911 service which is still handled through the Sheriff's Department.
Stolen stressed that all the confusion over the creation of the dispatch center has caused many people to misuse the 911 system.
"It's for emergency calls only," Stolen said.
Anyone needing to contact the Havre Police Department can call 265-4361.