The UK Police Communications center answers emergency and non-emergency calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to provide assistance to faculty, staff, students, and the general public. UK Police Communications Officers are the first responders for all requests for assistance and are responsible for sending University police officers to respond for crimes, or contacting the Lexington Fire Department to respond with our officers for medical emergencies or fires. UK Police Communications Officers are also responsible for monitoring radio traffic from UKPD Healthcare Security Officers and dispatching a police officer to respond if requested.
#UKPD from a cell phone
859-257-8573 / 859-257-1616 (Non-Emergencies)
859-257-6910 (Police Communications Fax)
Supervisor: Scott Ballinger
Frequently Asked Questions
What information is required when calling 911?
When you call 911 the address/location of the incident, your telephone number, name, and nature of the emergency are always asked.
Why do your Communications Officers ask so many questions?
It is important that we obtain as much information as possible when you call to determine how to best approach the situation. If you are involved in the emergency situation, this may be the only opportunity we have to obtain pertinent information about what is going on.
Can’t you just send help instead of asking so many questions?
For in-progress emergencies, Communications Officers are trained to enter the call immediately into our Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) program to be dispatched while they are getting additional information. While another employee is dispatching an officer and help is on the way, you can help provide more answers to what is going on.
When I call 911 from campus on my cell phone, why does an agency other than UKPD answer?
The Lexington Police Department is the primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Fayette County. All calls to 911 made from a cell phone go to them. If you are on campus, let their call taker know and they will transfer you to UKPD so we can send help.
What should I do if I accidentally call 911?
If you accidentally dial 911, do not hang up. Remain on the line and let the call taker know that you misdialed and that you do not have an emergency. If you dial 911 from a campus landline phone, a Communications Officer will attempt to call you back to determine if you have an emergency. If no contact is made, an officer will be dispatched to the location of the 911 call.
Can UK Police Communications assist callers who do not speak English, or speak very little English?
Yes. If someone calls UKPD on the 911 line or the non-emergency line, they will be transferred to an interpretation service who will be able to translate all questions and answers. This service allows us to ensure that there is very little delay in dispatching emergency personnel and helps us obtain accurate information from the caller.
Do you have the ability to assist hearing and speech impaired callers?
Yes. UK Police Communications has TTY/TDD (Telephone Device for the Deaf) equipment included in our phone system and all personnel are trained in the use of TTY/TDD as well as relay services that may also be employed.
If I don’t feel safe walking across campus at night can I call UKPD for a ride?
Yes. However, we suggest that you try calling 257-SAFE for either SAFECATS or the after-hours on-demand CATS bus service. Alternatively, you can call 323-RIDE for UK’s Kentucky Wildcab service for a ride or use the SafeWalk feature on the LiveSafe app. If those services are not operating, or you do not feel that LiveSafe will work for you, please call the non-emergency number to request an escort.
Our center was refurbished in 2014 to accommodate the growth of the department and the increasing amount of operations encountered. There are always 2 Communications Officers on duty, and a total of 12 full time personnel on staff.
Communications Officers are tasked with monitoring nearly 2,000 cameras throughout campus, 29 Talk-A-Phones (TAP), access control systems, alarm monitoring, and LiveSafe, all while answering emergency & non-emergency calls and monitoring the police and security radios.
UK Police Communications is committed to providing its trainees with the best training available to support and accomplish the mission of the University of Kentucky Police Department. By creating an atmosphere that is conducive to the learning process, trainees are provided with the skills and knowledge necessary to successfully carry out department objectives while embracing the agency's core values of professionalism, courtesy and compassion.
To produce competent Communications Officers capable of working in a skillful, motivated, productive, and professional manner.
To provide standardized training to all new employees in the practical application of learned information.
To provide clear standards for rating and evaluation which give all new employees every reasonable opportunity to succeed.
To enhance the professionalism, job skills, and ethical standards of the emergency communications community.
To provide remedial training in those areas where deficiencies are identified.
To work towards continuous quality improvement.
UK Police Communications Officers must attend the 5-week Public Safety Dispatch Academy at the Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) located on EKU’s campus in Richmond, KY if not already certified as a telecommunicator in Kentucky. Trainees at the academy take numerous courses including, but not limited to:
CJIS (Criminal Justice Information Systems)
Incident Command System (ICS)
Teamwork and problem solving
Handling critical incidents
The academy is required by the state and personnel must take continuing education throughout each year to keep their state certification current.
In addition to the Public Safety Dispatch Academy, trainees undergo in-house training under the supervision of a Communications Training Officer (CTO) for 4-6 months. CTOs attend a 40-hour course at DOCJT to gain certification as a training officer allowing them to then instruct trainees on agency-specific policies and procedures, geography, radio and phone procedures and more.