WOAI Series: Roles of Lesser-Known Law Enforcement Agencies

San Antonio’s increasingly "commuter" workforce travels through numerous law enforcement jurisdictions. More than most people might realize.

In a special news series this week, WOAI’s Morgan Montalvo introduces listeners to some of the area’s lesser-known agencies and departments that do their parts to protect and serve.

 When the need to call 9-1-1 arises, drivers entering the Alamo City from neighboring bedroom communities may unknowingly be passed from one  dispatcher to another as a moving caller proceeds along the highway. 

On  a cell phone, “it’s going to triangulate using three cell towers,”  Texas State University criminal justice professor  Meagan Hollis says of  a typical emergency call placed by a driver on any major highway  entering San Antonio. “It takes some time. I believe it takes up to 30  seconds, so you have to stay on the line long enough for it to ping.”  

Hollis  says some dispatchers work with up to seven screens, narrowing where  the caller is in real time in order to either direct an officer from the  current or a neighboring jurisdiction as quickly as possible.“

Based on where those jurisdictional boundaries are, they determine if it’s their call or someone else’s,” Hollis says. 

But why so many jurisdictions, and what are their duties? 

Be listening to San Antonio's First News all this week for Morgan Montalvo's series.

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