Big Changes Underway At Benton County E911

Joyce Coates
County Reporter
Benton County’s E911 Director, Jessica Mayfield, assumed her new role on October 19, 2020, and began right away putting into action her plans to bring the center up to full staff, modernize equipment and strengthen community relations. Mayfield’s background, training and experience reflect her qualifications for the new position.
“The workload at this time, while very challenging, is manageable,” she said. “Until the center is up to full staff, I am working actively as a dispatcher as well as fulfilling my administrative duties. The current staff has been very helpful in assisting me as I continue to settle into my role.”
Born in Kansas City, MO, but claiming Warsaw as her hometown since moving here in 1991, Mayfield graduated from Warsaw High School in 2004. She is married to Mark Mayfield and they have four children: Samantha, Katelyn, Clayton and Jayden.
In 2016, she earned an Associate of Arts degree in Teaching from State Fair Community College. She attends trainings regularly, and is certified as a trainer by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO), is an Emergency Telecommunicator Course Instructor and has multiple certifications in Emergency Dispatch.
Mayfield began her career in 2010 with the Benton County 911 Dispatch Center. In 2014, she served as a Communications Officer I with the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Then, as Assistant to Director of the E-911 Center in Polk County, and finally, she accepted her current position as our county’s 911 Center Director.
Priorities Mayfield has set are to provide proper leadership, more training opportunities for the staff, to get back to full operating capacity and to improve morale with a focus on employee retention. 
Her intended outcome is to “staff the center fully with highly qualified individuals who share my passion for 911.” 
Three dispatchers are currently in training and Mayfield plans to hire three more to ensure coverage of all shifts and expedient dispatch of required emergency services. To this end, within the coming year and for the first time since the facility was built in 2004, they will be purchasing all new dispatching consoles.
Mayfield said “We are essentially rebuilding the center and I could not be more excited and honored to be part of it. I have amazing staff; without them none of this would be possible.”
Better benefits and compensation packages are some of the measures planned to improve employee morale and retention. Steps are underway to improve the work environment and the technical infrastructure with the consoles already mentioned, as well as IT programs, communications equipment and staff training.
“We need to ensure we can serve all corners of Benton County in all means of emergency response, as well as properly support our emergency responders without any lapses in coverage or data tracking.” Speaking of how quickly technology changes and evolves, Mayfield said “Our current technology can perform at multiple levels. We just need to sit down and reevaluate our needs and make sure we are using the equipment we have to its fullest capabilities.”
“Another one of my main priorities,” she said, “is to continue to cultivate and improve relationships with the many agencies we work with daily, which is of paramount importance to ensure people of the community are getting the service and response they expect from our local emergency services across the board.”
Mayfield realizes that restoring the community’s faith in the center will not happen overnight. “I would like to remind the people of Benton County that I am available and willing to discuss any concerns or questions about the 911 Center.” 
Anyone who witnesses an emergency or who needs emergency services should not hesitate to call. “We will make sure help is on the way!”