Communications Section


Duties & Responsibilities

An integral part of the Police Department, Fire Department, and EMS is the Communications Section. The operators serving in the Communication Section are responsible for answering all 9-1-1 calls within Lamar County, and for dispatching the appropriate emergency service responders, be they police, fire, or EMS paramedics.

The Communications Operators are also responsible for dispatching 18 rural Volunteer Fire Departments, 14 rural First Responder groups, and Paris Animal Control Officers. The Section is the hub of information sharing within the City and is a key component in providing quality service to our citizens and visitors.

Communications Operators serve as the central answering point for all after-hours City Services, such as Water Utility and Public Works emergencies.


The Communications Section is comprised of 13 Communications Operators, working 10-hour shifts, responding to your emergency and non-emergency calls for service. The communications center is under the direction of Sgt. Michael Bankston.  

Sgt. Bankston can be reached at 903-737-4228 or by clicking here: email.


Calls for service are entered into and retrievable via a Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) System. Utilizing a TTY/TTD device, operators are available to assist both the hearing and hearing impaired.

When to Use 9-1-1

9-1-1 should be dialed when the police or an ambulance or fire unit is needed for an emergency. A police emergency is any situation involving a crime in progress, or an imminent threat to life, bodily injury, or major property damage or loss.

Texting to 9-1-1

In the Paris and Lamar County area, you can text to 9-1-1 via any device with regular texting ability.  Texting to 9-1-1 should still be in regards to emergency calls for service as they are answered at the PSAP (public safety answering point).  Calling and having a conversation with our 9-1-1 operators will allow us to get better information to make sure you receive the proper response.  The manta of the text to 9-1-1 program is "call if you can, text if you can't".  An example of a police emergency would be a fight or assault in progress, or a home or business burglary in progress.

For more information, please read our info on how to report emergencies and non-emergencies.