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Saturday, Aug 02, 2014

A Few Clouds, 65 °F

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Stephanie Egan

Stephanie Egan

Photographer: Adam Hoffman

Dianna Fisher

Dianna Fisher

Photographer: Adam Hoffman

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Communications officers essential to OUPD success


A police department communications officer is responsible for answering and responding to all 911 calls that come into the police station on a daily basis. It is the job of a PCO to decide how to handle each individual situation, in addition to manage the station’s desk and general public.

The Ohio University Police Department is fortunate to have a wonderful staff of communications officers, including Stephanie Egan and Dianna Fisher.

Communications officers are the initial contact for students, faculty, staff and Athens community members who need emergency and non-emergency assistance, Egan said. As the first points of contact for OUPD, Fisher and Egan must evaluate and prioritize every call for service that comes into the office by phone or person. Professionalism, courtesy, multitasking and resource knowledge also are key requirements, Egan said.

“It’s our job to communicate their needs to the appropriate resources,” Egan said. “We also assist the officers in finding requested information to ensure the community’s and the officers’ safety.”

Both Egan and Fisher have had previous experience before joining the OUPD team.

Since 2004, Egan worked as an Emergency Telecommunicator with Hocking County 911, where she was given the opportunity to dispatch for police, fire and EMS.

After graduating from Ohio University, Fisher became a communications officer for the Athens City Police. While working there she also attended peace officer basic training at Hocking College to become a certified peace officer.

“The information I learned in those classes made me a better CO because I gained a thorough understanding of what the officers need on the street,” she said.

Fisher said that her favorite aspect of being a communications officer is being part of a team that helps keep the officers and community safe.

“There is nothing more rewarding than helping another human being find a peaceful resolution to a problem,” Fisher said. “It’s not just a job. It’s a lifestyle that becomes part of your soul.”