The Communications Bureau answered 60,150 incoming 9-1-1 calls for the City of Santa Rosa in 2011, processing requests for service for police, fire and emergency medical assistance. In addition to the 9-1-1 calls, the dispatchers answered 113,914 calls on the non-emergency line, totalling 174,064. Click Here for information on 9-1-1 Emergency Services.
When we began to accept wireless 9-1-1 calls for service in May of 2004, the Communication Bureau experienced a 25% increase in 9-1-1 calls. Approximately 57% of all 9-1-1 calls are now received from a wireless phone. Please check with your cell phone provider and ascertain if they have updated their towers to redirect your cellular 9-1-1 call to the appropriate agency.
The dispatchers have access to a translation service called Language Line, which allows them to communicate with callers who do not speak English, or have limited English language ability. The majority of callers speak Spanish, however, some of the other languages offered through this service are Bosnian, Cambodian, Cantonese, Hindi, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, Tagalog, Taiwanese, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.
To communicate with the hearing or speech impaired, the dispatchers utilize a TTY device, however most callers prefer California Relay services.
Dispatchers are almost always the first contact the public has with the Police Department. They are required to triage and prioritize incoming calls for service and make referrals to other agencies when appropriate. They are also responsible for dispatching calls for service to field personnel, tracking the whereabouts of those field units and monitoring the safety of all field personnel in a 40-square-mile geographical area.
In addition to the services provided to the community, the dispatchers process requests for records and registration on individuals and vehicles from officers in the field, request towing services, and enter vehicles as well as temporary restraining orders into the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS). They maintain hard files on restraining orders and local trespass authorizations.
The dispatch teams work a variety of different shifts, and mandatory overtime is needed to allow sufficient staffing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Dispatchers operate a variety of highly technical equipment. Each workstation has three computer monitors for the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system for radio and telephone software, and for peripheral computer applications. All telephone calls and radio transmissions are recorded on a Plant Pyxis digital audio recording device, and the dispatchers are responsible for producing copies of audio recordings for officers, detectives, and the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office. Call statistics are also captured via Plant MagIC software. The Communications Center is powered by an Uninterruptible Power System in the event commercial power sources are disrupted. All of this equipment was replaced or upgraded in the last two years, providing state-of-the-art technology for customer service.