New roles allow Horry County E911 dispatchers to focus on emergencies

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – The emergency 911 center in Horry County will bring on new people to help police solve crimes.

A new partnership will allow dispatchers to focus solely on 911 calls. Director of Horry County E911 Renee Hardwick says a newly derived relationship between her staff and Conway’s Vocational Rehabilitation Center will help relieve some of the stress that comes with assisting people in emergency situations.

Currently, Horry County emergency dispatchers answer all calls – emergencies, misdials, tips about missing people – as well as help police with questions to solve crimes.

“We’ve been looking for ways to let our telecommunicators be dedicated to 911 calls and the radio communications,” says Hardwick.

Hardwick says about a year ago, the department started looking at ways to partner with the vocational rehab center, where people who’ve been out of the workforce can get training to work again.

Now, two people from that center will assist with calls and help solve crimes through NCIC, the National Crime Information Center.

“That’s where we access criminal information on subjects that the police may be looking to question, or have stopped, or driving information, or stolen vehicles or things, missing people things like that,” explains Hardwick.

Hardwick says the two new team members will answer calls and help with data entry so telecommunicators can focus solely on 911 calls.

The vocational center will help foot the bill.

“What we worked out is they would just pay four weeks of their salaries and we would absorb their training costs. So, it really is about equal so that’s what we worked out would be the best deal for us,” says Hardwick.

The two positions are being tested on a temporary basis with the hopes that the partnership can work as a training ground. Hardwick says if the positions work well for both sides, they’ll look to make the roles permanent.