HERKIMER — Last month, the Herkimer Police Department installed a Herkimer County 911 Center dispatch phone outside its station for those in need of contacting the police.
Starting next week, the hours when the public should use the phone will expand.
Police Chief Michael Jory said the dispatch center will take calls for Herkimer police from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Monday through Thursday, and all weekend from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 a.m. Monday.
Jory said the expanded hours is to allow an additional officer to be on the streets during the entire night shift and the entire weekend.
An officer will not be assigned to the police desk during those hours, he said.
The new hours will begin at 7 p.m. Monday.
“Implementing the 911 dispatch has been an extremely seamless process,” Jory said in an email. “We had planned on waiting awhile before adding hours; however, it has been such a smooth transition, we decided to add hours much sooner than we planned.
Jory said the police station will have staffing at the desk from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday — 60 hours a week instead of 168.
“Our goal is to provide as much coverage as possible with the number of officers we have,” he said.
The dispatch phone was installed outside of Herkimer Village Hall, at the front door, in December. The phone automatically will dial into the police department. If not answered in three rings, it will immediately roll over to the Herkimer County 911 Dispatch Center. Once the call is taken by a dispatcher, an officer will be assigned to respond to the police station to handle the complaint.
The phone isn’t capable of making any other calls.
Police said those who have an emergency should dial 911. Those with nonemergency calls should continue to call the Herkimer police desk at 315-866-4330 after 7 p.m. If there is no officer at the station to answer the call, it will be automatically rolled over to the Herkimer County 911 Center, which then dispatch an officer.