KINGSPORT – The Communications Specialists, also known as Dispatchers, of Kingsport Central Dispatch, are being honored during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week (NPSTW), which takes place during the week of April 10 through 16, 2016.‚  Communications Specialists are the calm voice on the phone whenever a citizen calls 9-1-1 to report an emergency.‚  Kingsport Central Dispatch operates out of the newly constructed Kingsport Emergency Communications Center, located in Downtown Kingsport.

The Communications Specialists in Kingsport Central Dispatch process roughly a quarter of a million telephone calls annually. Approximately twenty percent (50,000) of these calls are emergency calls to 9-1-1. ‚ Although a division of the Kingsport Police Department, Kingsport Central Dispatch also provides services for the Kingsport Fire Department, Sullivan County E.M.S., Kingsport Life Saving Crew, and other city departments and functions.

Every year during the second week of April, telecommunications personnel in the public safety community are honored. ‚ This week-long event was originally created in 1981 by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Office in California.‚  Her goal was to set aside a time to celebrate and thank these individuals who dedicate their lives to serving the public, and make people aware of their hard work and dedication.

In connection with NPSTW, the Kingsport Police Department is also pleased to announce the appointment of Lieutenant Steve Hammonds as the new Executive Director of Kingsport 9-1-1.‚  Lt. Hammonds received his Bachelor of Science in Organizational Management from Tusculum University.‚  He initially joined the Kingsport Police Department in 1994 as a Corrections Officer, and he was sworn in as a Police Officer the following year.

Throughout his career at the Kingsport Police Department Lt. Hammonds has served in Patrol, Community Police, Community Relations, Training, and Criminal Investigations.‚  He has fulfilled a wide variety of specialized roles including Accreditation Manager, Domestic Violence Investigator, D.A.R.E. Instructor, and S.W.A.T. Operator.‚  He has also served as an Agent assigned to the 2nd Judicial Drug Task Force.‚  He was promoted to Lieutenant early this month and appointed as 9-1-1 Director upon the retirement of former Director, Lt. Jerry Mowl.

The Kingsport Police Department would like to take this opportunity to express sincere gratitude to all of the employees of Kingsport 9-1-1 and congratulate Lt. Hammonds on his recent promotion and new assignment.‚  Photos of the exterior and interior of the new Kingsport Emergency Communications Center and the newly appointed 9-1-1 Director, Lieutenant Steve Hammonds, have been included with this release.

For additional information regarding Kingsport Central Dispatch, please visit the following links:

For additional information regarding National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, please visit the following link: