Sara Beatty
Chief Dispatcher


The Union County Sheriff's Communication Center operates a 24 hour-a-day Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP)and 911 Center. The Communication Center is headed by Communication Supervisor/ 911 Coordinator Sara Beatty . Beatty is responsible for the supervision of 7 full-time dispatchers. Beatty oversees all the operations of the Communication Division. All dispatchers are certified through SD Law Enforcement Training and Standard Commission. They are also trained and certified through Power Phone Emergency Medical Dispatch.

What is 911?

911 is the number set aside by telephone companies throughout the United States to put you in touch with emergency aid authorities. The concept was established in 1937 in Great Britain. In November 1967, the FCC met with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) to find a means of establishing a universal emergency number that could be implemented quickly. In 1968, AT&T announced that  it would establish the digits 9-1-1 as the emergency number throughout the US. On February 16, 1968 the first 9-1-1 call was made in the US in Halleyville, Alabama. 

All requests for emergency police, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel, should be made by dialing 911 from any telephone. This is a free call from public telephones. It is against the law to misuse 911, if you aren't certain whether or not your call concerns an emergency err on the side of caution and dial 911. For non-emergencies, (such as dogs barking), please call the non-emergency number 605-356-2670 or 605-356-2679. 

When you call 911, the dispatcher will need to get some basic information from you. A good 9-1-1 Call is clear and factual. While this may be a terrifying emotional experience for you, only the facts will help law enforcement come to your assistance.


Key Facts:

Your address: While many modern 9-1-1 systems automatically display your address you are calling from, where you call from might not be where the emergency happened at. This is the most important piece of data you can relay. Help cannot come if the location is not known.

 Your emergency: It is vital to a good 9-1-1 call to get to the point. rambling and crying will not help the deputy come to your rescue. Give the facts quickly and clearly. What is occurring? Please provide a brief description of what is happening? 

Time Element: When did the situation you're reporting occur? Was it within the last 5-10 minutes? This helps the dispatcher determine the priority of any response. Did it just occur or is it a "cold situation. This answers the WHEN. 


Suspect Description: If pertinent, try to tell the dispatcher what the suspect(s) look like-Male/female, race, age, height, weight,hair, eyes, scars/marks/tattoo's.

Clothing, were they carrying anything?

Weapons or drugs or alcohol involved : was there a knife, gun, bat, club? Was the person under the influence of anything? How are they acting? 

Vehicle description: If a vehicle was involved, try to provide the dispatcher with the color, make, year, model, body type, license number, direction of travel 

The response to these questions will not be delayed by answering the above questions. In fact, answers to these types of questions often give the deputy the necessary information to apprehend the suspect(s) quickly. In most cases, deputies are dispatched while you are still on the phone. The dispatcher can relay the important information to the deputies prior to their arrival. 

Remember: Remain calm and answer all the questions. Let the dispatcher control the questioning. Do not hang up until you are sure the dispatcher is finished with what they need. 

Dispatchers monitor and respond to service and information requests from the public, evaluate service needs and dispatch appropriate units. Dispatchers perform a vital function within the department and require skills and abilities that are unique. At all times, they must have the ability to be calm when talking to emotionally upset or irate individuals or when confronted with life and death situations. Dispatchers must listen carefully, simultaneously distinguishing between, and monitoring, multiple radio transmissions and telephone conversations. They also must have the ability to remember past calls and events and relate correct information to officers in the field. Working under pressure, Dispatchers must exercise good judgment and make sound decisions in highly charged emergency situations. 

Dispatchers Inspirational Message 

I am the voice that calms the mother into breathing life back into her apneic infant son.


I am the invisible hand that holds and comforts the elderly man who woke up this morning to find his wife of 50 years has passed away during the night


I am the friend who talks  the disgruntled teenager out of ending her own life.


I sent help when you had your first automobile accident.


! am the one who tried to obtain the information from the caller to ensure that the scene is safe for those I dispatch to emergencies--all the while anticipating the worst and hoping for the best.


I am the psychologist who readily adapts my language and tone of voice to serve the needs of my callers with the compassion and understanding.


I am the ears that listen to the needs of all those I serve.


I have heard the screams of the faceless people I never will meet nor forget.


I have cried at the atrocities of mankind and rejoiced at the miracles of life.


I was there, though unseen by the comrades in the field during the most-trying emergencies.


I have tried to visualize the scene to coincide with the voices I heard.


I usually am not privy to the outcome of a call, and so I wonder.....


I am the one who works weekends, strange shifts and holidays. Children do not say they want my job when they grow up. Yet, I am at this vocation by choice. Those I help do not call back to say thank you. Still, there is comfort in the challenge, integrity and purpose of my employment.


I am thankful to provide such a meaningful service.


I am a mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.


I am where you need me and still here when you don't.


My office is never empty, and the work here is never done. I am always on call. The training is strenuous and endless. No two days at work are ever the same.


I am an emergency dispatcher and I am proud of it.