By Police Chief Wes Kufeld
What happens when you dial 9-1-1 and need a police officer, ambulance or firefighter? They show up, almost always in an extremely timely manner. This is possible due to high-speed communications among the dedicated staff of these agencies.
The Town of Estes Park's emergency services staff, along with our partners, have robust and reliable means of communicating with each other via radio, texting, cell phones, and/or computers, whether from a moving vehicle or from our offices. Dispatchers and most police vehicles can access information from County, State and Federal agencies instantly -- even in our somewhat isolated location in rough terrain. This allows the officer to stay up to date with wanted or missing persons as well as "Officer Safety Alerts" in real time.
Weather, wildfire, and criminal events happen every day -and fortunately we get instant updates from our partners. It is hard to imagine how everything functioned in the 1960s, when only landlines and spotty radio service were available. With today's tough law enforcement environment, our officers must stay on top of current law enforcement issues and remain attuned to their surroundings at all times. High-speed communications allow us to do just that.
Using advanced aerial maps and GPS locations for emergencies is becoming the norm thanks to high-speed communications networks. Real-time surveillance systems at public facilities are a proven, effective deterrent to crime and critical to investigations. Systems we could only dream of 20 years ago are in place in Estes Park. Protecting, serving and saving lives continues to be the mission of the Estes Park Police Department and our partner agencies - and high-speed communications make it possible.