Association of Public Safety Communications Officials honors the facility during a conference this month in Orlando
The Sarasota County Emergency Operations Center recently was honored by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) with the 2016 Technology Leadership Award for a Large Communications Center, Sheriff Tom Knight has announced.
APCO recognizes public safety communications agencies for their use of technological advancements and the resulting, demonstrated benefits to employees and the members of the public they serve, a news release explains. The award was presented on Aug. 15 during the APCO Annual Conference in Orlando.
The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) functions through a partnership between the Sheriff’s Office’s Emergency Operations Bureau and Sarasota County Government’s Emergency Services’ Public Safety Communications Department, the news release notes. The 24/7 multi-jurisdictional operation serves more than 400,000 residents spread among the 725 square miles that make up Sarasota County, the release adds.
In 2015, the Sheriff’s Office’s Public Safety Communications Center moved into the state-of-the-art facility and upgraded its technology to include new mapping features, radio software and hardware, and an internal 911 academy for new employees. The center recently added technology enabling the public to send texts to 911, the release notes.
“We are incredibly proud of the men and women who make up our Emergency Operations Bureau,” said Knight in the release. “These are the folks who work behind the scenes and are on the receiving end of the line when citizens experience their worst moments. It is through a joint partnership with Sarasota County Government that we continue to enhance our center in order to provide the best in service to our community and our visitors.”
The Public Safety Communications Center received approximately 260,000 calls to 911 and 340,000 non-emergency calls for service in 2015, the release adds. The EOC also houses the county Contact Center, a hub for information for the county’s residents, which is reached by calling 861-5000.