Virginia Tech Police Department dispatchers join new regional 911 center
On July 14, the Virginia Tech Police Department will relocate all eight of its dispatchers to the New River Valley Regional Emergency Communications Center.
The centralized 911 dispatch center, located in Montgomery County’s new state-of-the-art Public Safety Building at 1 E. Main Street in Christiansburg, Virginia, will more quickly and accurately route calls to the appropriate local emergency medical, fire, and law enforcement agencies by reducing phone transfers, which will cut valuable response time.
Virginia Tech’s Vice President for Administration Sherwood G. Wilson calls the project a “dream come true for the region” and credits local government administrators, law enforcement, and elected officials from across the New River Valley for their dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment.
“Every second counts in an emergency and this new center allows our first responders in the community and here at Virginia Tech to arrive on scene as quickly as possible,” said Wilson, who is also the chair of the New River Valley Emergency Communications Regional Authority’s board of directors.
The effort is a regional initiative led by Virginia Tech, the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg, and Montgomery County. The concept of a regional communications center in the New River Valley has been under development for about nine years.
Dispatchers from the Montgomery County’s Sheriff’s Office and the Christiansburg Police Department have already relocated into the building. Blacksburg Police Department dispatchers will move the week of July 18.
“We are pleased to join with the other agencies in our continuing effort to improve the safety and security of our communities,” said Virginia Tech Police Chief Kevin Foust. “This regional center is an excellent step in that direction.”
The Virginia Tech Police Department will retain its security center and walk-up window at the university’s Public Safety Building, located at 230 Sterrett Drive (0523).
The department is currently in the process of hiring five security center representatives to staff the office and assist with sending out VT Alerts, answering the nonemergency phone lines, and assisting walk-in customers. The Safe Ride program will remain housed in the building and officers will be dispatched from campus to provide transportation or a walking escort to persons traveling across campus between dusk and dawn.
The department will continue to offer fingerprinting services, provide child safety seat checks, and house student weapons and ammunition at the Public Safety Building. While the location will remain open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, fingerprinting services will be offered only from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Individuals who need assistance should call 911 (emergency) and 540-382-4343 (nonemergency). The Virginia Tech Police Department’s administrative office number will remain the same: 540-231-6411.
The Virginia Tech Police Department is a full-service, nationally accredited police agency that provides the same level of service offered by municipal police departments, as well as other services unique to an academic institution. The department, which is led by a team of men and women with significant experience at the local, state, and federal levels regularly collaborates with other local law enforcement agencies and shares jurisdiction with the Blacksburg Police Department, the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office.