BPD Public Safety Communications Center
9-1-1 and Non Emergency Calls
The Public Safety Communications Center for the City of Berkeley is located in the Ronald T. Tsukamoto Public Safety Building (PSB) and is the primary answering point for all 911 and non emergency calls for the police and fire department. The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week by a team of highly skilled and dedicated Public Safety Dispatchers who are eager to assist you and make your experience with the Berkeley Police and Fire departments a positive and helpful one.
“It is the mission of Berkeley’s Public Safety Dispatchers to provide timely and efficient service to the community and our first responders in a positive and professional manner. To maintain public safety, it is imperative that we execute our duties promptly, accurately and effectively. Providing the highest levels of service, team work and accountability in our communication center brings cohesiveness to our team, our first responders and the community, providing safety and service to all”
Calling the police or fire department for any reason can often be an overwhelming and stressful experience. Our Dispatchers are trained to offer both emergency and non-emergency information specific to your situation. In 2012, our dispatchers processed over 140,000 calls, while providing critical operational support to our field units and neighboring police and fire agencies. The Communications Center is staffed at all times with a minimum of five Dispatchers and a Shift Supervisor, each with a specific assignment – call-taker, police radio, records desk or fire radio. Dispatchers are also responsible for tracking and updating a multitude of local, state and national criminal justice databases.
To assist with processing your call as quickly and efficiently as possible, here are few helpful points to remember:
Emergencies: The 911 system is a dedicated answering point for reporting immediate threats to life or property which require an immediate response from police, fire or paramedic personnel. When you dial 911, the Dispatcher who answers is required to evaluate and prioritize your emergency based on a very specific set of criteria. You will be prompted for information regarding your emergency with the respect and courtesy, but also with consideration for your safety and the safety of our first responders.
Immediate threats to life or property: Dial 911 or our seven digit emergency number, (510) 981-5911. We highly encourage all residents, as well as students and those who work in the City of Berkeley to program their phones with our seven digit emergency number - while our Communications Center is equipped to receive wireless cell phone calls from all the major carriers, if you are near a freeway or on the border of the City, your call may first be routed through the California Highway Patrol prior to coming to our Center, based on the position of our cell towers.
Non emergencies: Certain situations, though criminal in nature, may not require immediate attention, such as “cold crimes” or vehicle complaints, or, you may have a routine neighborhood issue or civil matter. For these incidents, please use our Non-Emergency Dispatch number, (510) 981-5900, 24-hours a day. If you’re not sure if your situation constitutes an emergency, the call-taker who answers will ask you a series of questions to help determine the priority of your call.
Interested in Becoming a Public Safety Dispatcher?
Dispatchers provide a critical role in the delivery of emergency police, fire and medical services. Though technically challenging and intense, it is a highly rewarding career. To be successfully as Dispatcher you’ll need the following skills: ability to exercise good judgment and make independent decisions; ability to multi-task, gather and disseminate information clearly, accurately and rapidly; ability to calm irate and hysterical persons; ability to carry our oral and written instructions according to established procedures; ability to operate a wide variety of computers, radios and recording equipment and have good typing and keyboarding skills. Most positions require shift work, seven days a week, including weekends and holidays and will require you to pass and comprehensive background investigation.
For more information about the career of Public Safety Dispatching, please click on the following link: www.theacademy.ca.gov/dispatch
911 for Kids
For tips on how to teach your child about 9-1-1, take a look at our 9-1-1 for Kids Program. If your child's school has not yet participated, as a parent or guardian, you can recommend that the teacher contact us and our team of trained dispatchers will come to your child's school in the City of Berkeley and host a fun and educational program.
Communications Center Manager: