NewsLocal NewsKzoo/BCKalamazoo


Officer-involved emergency calls can be some of the worst for dispatch

Central Dispatch Authority
Posted at 5:21 PM, Aug 24, 2021

KALAMAZOO, Mich. — It has been just over a week since Kalamazoo County Sergeant Ryan Proxmire was shot and killed in the line of duty.

Shortly after, 911 dispatch received a number of calls for help.

Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch Authority receives around 14,500 each month. That equals about 174,000 calls per year.

When it comes to calls surrounding any public safety officer whether it's fire, EMS or law enforcement, they said those can be some of the worst.

"When it is one of your own, in that family, it hits everybody really hard," said Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch Authority Executive Director Jeff Troyer.

Kalamazoo County Central Dispatch Authority confirms last Sunday they received multiple calls for a deputy down. They said that news is never easy to deal with.

"It is one of the worst things whether it is on the radio that call for help, a telephone call that a law enforcement officer has been in an accident or needs help. It is never a good situation," said Troyer.

Dispatch works alongside some of the same public safety crews every day. They're on similar schedules working early mornings, nights, weekends and even holidays.

When you work together, you get to know one another.

"Law enforcement is about 75% of the dispatch center’s workload and probably way more interaction with the dispatch center staff than typically what you would have with fire or EMS," said Troyer.

While dispatchers stay professional on the phone during most calls, it's after where the serious front may come down.

Troyer said everybody deals with those situations a little differently.

"The public safety community as a whole is still mourning a loss of a friend, a great individual," said Troyer.

Michigan State Police is still currently investigating the circumstances surrounding Sergeant Proxmire's death, meaning all 911 calls, along with body and dashcam footage have not yet been released.

Troyer asks people to be respectful when the information does come out, considering the public safety community will have to relive it.