The Communications center or dispatch is the control center for the Panama City Beach Police Department and is responsible for all in-coming calls for service via 911, telephone and teletype. The Communications unit is the center of communications for the Panama City Beach Fire Department, as well. the communications officers receive thousands of phone calls a year for information, services, complaints, and emergency 911 calls. Majority of initial contacts with the public concerning complaints or calls for services are made by telephone. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to prioritize several tasks, to think clearly in stressful situations, and to make rational decisions are essential duties of the communications personnel. The Department's communication officers, like all dispatch personnel in the State of Florida, are required to be certified in NCIC and FCIC and telecommunication. Communication officers must also successfully complete a training program through the Panama City Beach Police Department in order to receive their required certifications before they are allowed to work in a "solo" status. The telecommunication certifications must be renewed every two years by attending an 8 hour in-service training class. The FCIC/NCIC computer is an invaluable law enforcement tool. FCIC is a direct line to the crime database maintained by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement located in Tallahassee, Florida. NCIC is a direct line to the crime database maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Washington DC. Information regarding stolen property, domestic violence orders, missing or wanted persons, driver's license, vehicle registration and a wealth of other information can be obtained from any state in the United States. The communication officer on duty has the responsibility for obtaining any needed information from this computer. The communication staff also has access to a county-wide criminal records information. This automated computer system maintains all criminal histories, warrants/summons, and vehicle records as reported by all law enforcement and court agencies in our service area. We encourage everyone to keep in mind that 911 is an EMERGENCY number and should be used only in the event of an actual emergency.