It is not often that we need to call for help, but when we need it, we really do need it. We live in a small rural County and often citizens don’t realize that there are Deputies patrolling the streets of Payette County at all times of the day or night.
The Payette County Sheriff’s Office is a 24/7 operation. Our Dispatch Deputies are ready to take your emergency or non-emergency calls and dispatch help to you. Our Patrol Deputies are ready to respond to your residence or business as needed. When you wake up in the middle of the night to the neighbor’s dog, or a prowler it is ok to call into Dispatch and ask for a Deputy to come to your house. We have a Deputy on duty that we can send. The Jail Deputies are also working to maintain a secure and safe Jail.
The administrative offices for the Payette County Sheriff’s Office are open on Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. These offices are the Records Division, Civil Division, Administration, and Drivers License Division. All of our administrative offices are closed from noon to 1:00 pm. The Driver’s License Department is closed each day from 1:00 – 2:00 pm for lunch.
Payette County is very fortunate that we have a relatively small area of public lands where people can get lost or stranded in. We do have some public lands in the southern part of our County as well as the northeastern part of our County. If you are planning to go to these areas and enjoy our public lands, you should always tell someone where you are going and when you should be back. There is cell service in the majority of Payette County with the major cell providers. If you are not able to call for help, try to text 911. Sometimes a text message can get out when a phone call cannot.
If you find that you have gotten lost, the best advice is to stay put. If you start walking while rescue teams are looking for you it will make it more difficult to find you. If you see any aircraft or people in the area, try to signal them by using a signaling mirror or something reflective, or by waving a white piece of clothing.
The Sheriff’s Office owns 4-wheel drive vehicles and UTV’s that we use to respond to search and rescue efforts. We are also able to ask the surrounding jurisdictions to assist with the search.
It is not often that most citizens need to call the Payette County Sheriff’s Office and when they do, sometimes they wonder how they should contact us. We have three ways to call us. During an emergency you can call 911, or during an emergency you could text 911. At all other times you should call our non-emergency phone number, (208) 642-6006 ext. 1175.
This seems really simple at its onset, but I know that people wonder if their situation is what we would classify as an emergency for the purpose of using 911. We often get calls on an administrative line that should have been on a 911 line. We also get some calls on the 911 lines that should have been on an administrative line. The 911 phone system is designed to help streamline the process of getting help dispatched to your location as quickly and efficiently as possible. With that in mind it should be used when an emergency is occurring. This could be when you, a relative or a stranger needs an ambulance. In medical emergencies minutes can be very crucial in saving someone’s life. It should also be used when you see a wildland fire, or field fire that appears to be out of control. When you witness a structure fire, 911 is the best way to call for help. There are numerous reasons to use 911 as it relates to law enforcement. The question to ask yourself is do you or someone else need immediate help, is it a life or death situation, or can this wait a few minutes longer before you talk to a Deputy. Common 911 calls for law enforcement includes fights, domestic violence, unwanted subjects, vehicle collisions, prowlers, etc. These are all situations where someone’s safety might be in immediate danger. For all other situations, call our non-emergency phone number.
The next thing to think about is should I call 911 or text 911 and which one is better. Calling 911 with a voice call is the absolute best way to contact the Payette County Sheriff’s Office during an emergency. We are able to get information from you at a much quicker pace. We have numerous questions that are specifically designed to help us efficiently gather enough information to get resources to you at the quickest time possible. In addition to asking you questions, we have the opportunity to listen to your environment. Dispatch can hear things that are going on in the environment and directly give that information to the responding units. During a text 911 we do not have the chance to hear what is going on. We have some questions pre-typed, but it will take longer to get information transmitted back and forth while we are both typing our responses to each other. The location data is not as accurate with a text 911, as opposed to a voice 911 call.
I know that some people may be asking why you would ever want to text 911 if it is so inefficient. We have some citizens who live in our community that have limitations in hearing and speech. By having this service available, we give those individuals the opportunity to still contact 911 with devices that they have and use on a daily basis. There are times that a person may be involved in an accident that can leave them with temporary or permanent hearing or voice loss. Text to 911 will be the best way for them to contact 911. The third situation where texting 911 would be the best option is in any situation where you are afraid that if you were to make a sound, your safety would be in danger. There are times when you might have an intruder in your house and you could be hiding somewhere trying to get help, but not wanting to make any sound. Turn the sound off on your phone and text 911. We will always ask if you can call 911 instead of texting. Please reply with no, it would not be safe for me to call.
When you call or text 911, be ready to give us the following information:
Your Full Name
Your Phone Number
The address where the emergency is
What the emergency is
What kind of services you need
Our Dispatch Center is a highly technical center with many pieces of modern technology. Our Dispatchers run 3 computers with 6 monitors at each Dispatch position. They use these systems to answer the many emergency and non-emergency phone calls, talk to emergency responders on the radio, answer text-to-911, track the locations of our emergency responders and dispatch emergency responders.
These systems track the location of callers and responders, which helps Dispatch give turn by turn directions to our responders to each emergency. They also have a multitude of resources available to them to help Patrol Deputies find property owners, cattle owners, vehicle owners, landlords and general citizens. They use a mass notification system to alert neighborhoods to police activity when we believe there is a specific threat to the public in that area.
In addition to the computer software that Dispatch uses, they also monitor 18 radio channels and take radio traffic from law enforcement, fire and EMS units.
The Payette County Sheriff’s office has operated a countywide consolidated Dispatch Center since 1982. We have continually sought out improvements to help serve our citizens better. Some of these improvements included an upgraded 911 phone systems to automatically share resources with Washington County. We implemented Text-to-911 to help our citizens connect with us better. Our Dispatchers handle hundreds of 911 calls every day. They have specialized training and tools to help callers get the help they need.
When calling 911 on a voice call, be ready to answer some questions that the Dispatcher will have. We will always ask for your name, phone number, location of the emergency and what the emergency is. Having this information readily available will help us get to a faster start on dispatching emergency response units to you. When texting 911, know that we will be asking the same questions. If you include that in your initial text, it will help us get units dispatched faster.
Our dispatch center typically operates with up to 4 Dispatchers working at a time. We have staggered our shifts so that we have adequate coverage during our busy times of the day. One of the comments we often get from callers is questioning why they have not heard us dispatch any units. Often times the other Dispatchers on duty are dispatching units while you are speaking with one of the Dispatchers on the phone. When possible, we will keep you on the phone during the whole process and let the other Dispatchers dispatch the units to your location.
Please make sure to stay on the phone with our Dispatchers. They have numerous questions to ask while responders are heading your way. These questions help us to know how many responders are likely needed, which types of responders we should send, equipment they should bring with them and what their first actions should be when arriving on scene. All of these things help us provide the best service when we get there.
A candidate that believes in partnership with citizens to make our communities safer.