A person dialing 9-1-1 line anywhere in Anaheim will immediately be connected to a 9-1-1 dispatcher at the Anaheim Police Department. The dispatcher may transfer the caller to any required police, fire, paramedic agency, poison control center or to a newly incorporated multi-language translation system merely by depressing one button. The 9-1-1 system was conceived as a method of making emergency services more readily accessible to the public and for decreasing response time of emergency service agencies. All coin operated telephones in the city have been converted to accept 911 calls without first depositing a coin. This eliminates the citizens need to consult a telephone directory or to memorize separate numbers for police, fire and paramedic services.
To eliminate any problems in communications due to language differences, intoxication or hysteria, the caller's phone number and address are displayed on the Computer Aided Dispatch System, thus providing the shortest possible response time.
In 1963, the newly built Harbor Boulevard police station contained a radio room and adjoining telephone answering room. The radio room was located on the main floor of the police station between the offices of the Watch Commander and Desk Sergeant. Dispatching duties were handled by sworn police officers while civilian switchboard operators routed phone calls throughout the building.
By the mid 1970s, the department had outgrown their original radio room. With an increase in the city population came an increase in calls for service. Additional personnel were hired to answer the phones and assist the officers assigned to the task of dispatching.
In 1974, the Anaheim Police Department staffed the Communications Center with civilian dispatchers for the first time, hiring thirteen new dispatchers.
In 1975, the Communications Center was relocated to a more secure and spacious area in the basement of the police station. Outfitted with a new Motorola radio console and new phone answering positions, the Center boasted a conveyer belt to send hand written dispatch cards to the dispatcher from any of the six phone positions.
As part of a major building renovation project for the Anaheim Police Department, a new Communications Center was dedicated in May of 1987. It was remodeled in July of 2001 with the addition of a 800 mhz radio system, and sit/stand adjustable consoles with personal environment units for heat/air/lighting.
The present Center is located on the second floor of the Harbor Boulevard police station. It is staffed by a Civilian Communications Manager, 5 Communications Supervisors, 5 Senior Dispatchers, 25 Dispatchers, and 3 Police Service Representatives. Today’s communication system includes state of the art electronics combined with a staff of professional dispatchers and communications operators. Computers link field personnel with the Communications Center.
Since 1995, the Communications Bureau has received numerous awards each year for their excellence in service. We celebrate National Telecommunications Week in April with attendance at an awards dinner, an ice cream social, and a City Council proclamation.
If you are interested in an exciting and challenging career in the Communications Bureau, check out our "Job Opportunities" Section.