In January of 1985, we opened our doors as one of the first 911 communications centers in the State of South Carolina; dispatching calls for Columbia Police Department and Columbia Fire Department. The Center then had four positions with a staff of 24 employees.
In July of 1999, the Communications Center, through efforts of the City of Columbia and Richland County, became a merged City/County Communications Center. With much support, and a true spirit of cooperation, both law enforcement agencies worked in concert with communications staff and was able to establish a unified law enforcement dispatching procedures. These new procedures included both agencies adopting a unified ten code and signal list. The initiative made communications for communications personnel and law enforcement officers easier.
Benefits of the Combined Center:
In July of 2001, the Communications Center became a stand-alone department for the first time since its inception in 1985. The separation has proven to be exciting and challenging for the new department.
In September of 2001, the Communications Center underwent restructuring to better serve the citizens and the user agencies. The restructure included these additional positions:
The Columbia-Richland Communications Center currently has ninety-six (96) employees. The increase in staff has allowed the Center to specialize positions with the goal of relieving the Telecommunicators from having to perform the duties of both Call Taker and Dispatcher. It is the intention of the Director to achieve a staffing level that will allow the Telecommunicators to devote all of their time to focusing on the needs of the emergency responders.