LEBANON, Pa. (WHTM) – Police and emergency dispatchers in Lebanon County are training together to improve their working relationship.
“It’s not always easy out here,” North Lebanon police Chief Harold Easter said. “It’s convoluted, complex, and sometimes very confusing, particularly the initial scene.”
Police say their biggest partner in fighting crime is the emergency management agency’s county dispatch. That’s why police, firefighters, and dispatchers in the county have resurrected the “ride along” program.
“We depend upon them to give us information that could even save an officer’s life,” Easter said of dispatchers. “It’s very important.”
The program lets dispatchers spend a day with officers, and officers can spend a day at the Emergency Management Office to better understand the challenges each other faces.
“We had some issues with communication between officers on the street and dispatchers, so I think this will take care a lot of that friction, tension,” Easter said.
“Different parts of the criminal justice system working in conjunction with each other always produces very positive results,” he added.
Residents can request to ride along with an officer, too.
“Police officers are good people that want to do a good job for the citizens,” Easter said, “and this is one way for the citizens to meet the officers.”