Each year, the second full week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as public safety telecommunicators. It was first conceived by Patricia Anderson of the Contra Costa County (Calif.) Sheriff's Office in 1981 and was observed only at that agency for three years. Members of the Virginia and North Carolina chapters of the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) became involved in the mid-1980s. By the early 1990s, the national APCO organization convinced Congress of the need for a formal proclamation. Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced what became H.J. Res. 284 to create "National Public Safety Telecommunicator Week." According to Congressional procedure, it was introduced twice more in 1993 and 1994, and then became permanent, without the need for yearly introduction.
The official name of the week when originally introduced in Congress in 1991 was "National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week." In the intervening years, it has become known by several other names, including "National Public-Safety Telecommunications Week" and "International Public Safety Telecommunicator's Week." The Congressional resolution stated there were more than "500,000 telecommunications specialists."
The Burlington Police Department 9-1-1 Communication Center is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the citizens it serves by educating the public on when to use 9-1-1 and what is expected of the person placing a 9-1-1 call.
Communications is responsible for receiving and dispatching fire and police related complaints that are called in by the public. The Communications Division is staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For emergencies the public should dial 9-1-1.