The Office of Public Safety Communications (OPSC) is the cornerstone of the County's comprehensive public safety response system. The main objective of the OPSC is to facilitate the flow of information in a seamless and rapid manner, and to provide aid, comfort and instructions to the public prior to the arrival of police and fire and rescue field resources.
The OPSC provides command, control and information support services to the police department and fire and rescue services. OPSC personnel are often the first representatives of County government to assist citizens in need. Without leaving the communications center, they are usually the first public safety persons to 'arrive' at the scene of a crime, fire or medical emergency. Emergency medical care has a virtual zero response time because call takers are trained to provide immediate medical care instructions over the telephone before response services arrive on the scene.
Using all of their acquired skills, call takers gather information concerning emergency and non-emergency problems and complaints, and relay information to police and fire and rescue services who then decide on appropriate courses of action. OPSC personnel track each incident and process updated information as a situation progresses. The communications center is located in the George T. Owens Operations Center and staff members are standing by for calls 24 hours a day, every day.
The Chief of the Department of Fire & Rescue and the Chief of Police make up the Joint Policy Authority (JPA). Each chief has equal authority in the administrative and managerial oversight of the OPSC. Each Chief has three areas of individual responsibility, as required by State law and County ordinances. The Fire Chief retains sole authority for the Office of Emergency Services (OES), Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD), and Fire & Rescue Dispatch policy. The Police Chief retains sole authority for the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN), security, and Police Dispatch policy.
Barry M. Barnard
Chief of Police
Timothy L. Keen
Chief of Fire and Rescue