Spartanburg County Communications to Pick Up 911 Calls for USC Upstate

January 29, 2015 at 11:04 pm

The University of South Carolina Upstate is pleased to announce a new partnership with Spartanburg County Communications/911 to provide full dispatch service for the University community.

Effective Friday, January 30, 2015, the USC Upstate Department of Public Safety will switch dispatch services to the Spartanburg County Communications/911 Center through a Memoranda of Understanding.

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The 911 call center will handle all emergency calls for the University’s police officers, while the USC Upstate Department of Public Safety will handle all non-emergency calls originating from the campus, such as persons in need of an escort to and from a building, inquiring about parking or parking citations,  or who need assistance due to a dead battery.

“This transition will improve services and enhance the safety of members of the USC Upstate community and our police officers in the field,” said Klay Peterson, USC Upstate chief of police.

Currently, 911 calls ring through the University police station, where student dispatchers relay the calls to officers from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. On holidays, weekends and after hours, the emergency line is forwarded to a mobile device carried by an on-duty officer. Peterson said it’s not an ideal system for a growing campus.

“If one of our police officers is out on a call and someone else needs assistance, for safety reasons, the officer may not be able to answer that call at that moment,” Peterson said.  “Spartanburg County is much better equipped to deal with these emergency calls and allow our officers to respond in a timely manner.”

Members of the University community and visitors will dial 911 for all emergency situations, while the number (864) 503-7777 will be used for all  informational and non-emergency calls.

University police will begin phasing out the current numbers, (864) 503-5911 and (864) 503-5269, immediately after the switch. The number (864) 503-5269 will be disconnected Jan. 30, however, callers will receive a voice message directing callers to hang up and dial 911 for emergencies and 503-7777 for non-emergencies.

Peterson said he was excited about the change, but even more so after meeting Mike Flynn, director of Spartanburg County Communications, who also happens to be a USC Upstate alumnus.

“We are in great hands with this switch,” Peterson said.

Flynn was named to the director’s position in January 2014. A veteran in the dispatch center, Flynn has more than 19 years as a call taker, dispatcher, assistant shift supervisor and senior computer-aided dispatch administrator. Flynn graduated in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in information management.

“I am very excited to assist USC Upstate in the process of making the community a safer place for everyone,” Flynn said. “Chief Peterson and his staff are forward thinking, action-oriented folks who want to provide the best service possible to the thousands of people who depend on them every day. They are paving the way for other police organizations who serve and protect educational institutions in this county, as they are the first to partner with the dispatch center.”

Spartanburg County Communications/911 is a department of the Spartanburg County Office of Emergency Services and is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for law enforcement, fire, rescue, emergency medical, and emergency management services within all of Spartanburg County.

For more information, please contact Klay Peterson, chief of police at USC Upstate, at kpeterson@uscupstate.edu or by calling (864) 503-5254.