Communications - Dispatch Division



This Division is under the direction of Captain John T. Bull.  He can be reached at 903-737-4120 or by email at  

The Communications Section is comprised of 13 Communications Operators, working 10-hour shifts, responding to your emergency and non-emergency calls for service. 

Duties & Responsibilities

An integral part of the Police DepartmentFire 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.


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 below on how to report emergencies and non-emergencies. 

Reporting Emergencies and Non-Emergencies


In an emergency, every second counts. When police, fire, or medical emergencies occur, dialing 9-1-1 will save precious time and in many instances can literally mean the difference between life and death.

When you have an emergency:

  • Dial 9-1-1
  • Remain calm - speak slowly and clearly
  • Describe the emergency
  • Give the exact location of where help is needed - As an added safety feature, the telephone number and location that you are calling from is usually displayed when the operator answers your call (not available from operator-assisted calls and for all cellphones). The operator will ask you to give the location of your emergency, even if they are displayed when you call. This is necessary to verify the address and specific location of the emergency
  • Answer all questions asked by the operator
  • Do not hang up until the operator is finished - When the basic information has been entered into the dispatch computer, the call is routed to the appropriate police, fire, or medical dispatcher within seconds and a response is initiated. By staying on the line with the operator you may be able to further assist the police, fire units, or paramedics who are responding to your call by providing additional or updated information. Additional information does not delay dispatch of emergency personnel to your location.


Non-emergency calls placed to 9-1-1 are a violation of law and can hinder the ability of operators to send police, fire, or ambulance responders to true emergencies.

To more efficiently handle calls, the Paris Police Department has designated (903) 784-6688 as the number to report non-emergency situations to the police, request non-emergency ambulance transfers, and to make other non-emergency service requests.

A non-emergency incident is one that does not involve a crime in progress; does not pose an imminent threat to human life, major property damage, or loss; and does not require the immediate dispatch of a police officer. Some examples of non-emergency calls are abandoned vehicles, barking dogs, property crimes not in progress, and non-injury accidents.

View a listing of other helpful non-emergency numbers (PDF).