The Center is staffed twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. There are two to five Dispatchers on duty at one time. The staffing level is determined by the day of the week, time of day, and the volume of phone calls / radio traffic normally received during these times.
The Communications Center contains six emergency 9-1-1 telephone lines, three business lines, and several dedicated phone lines to various law enforcement or fire agencies. Cellular 9-1-1 calls are currently answered by the California Highway Patrol and must be transferred to the appropriate agency.
Our Communication Center dispatches both City of Chico police and fire department personnel, as well as Butte County Fire and California Department of Forestry personnel, by radio to both emergency and non-emergency situations. The ambulance dispatch center receives a printout of any medical calls fire personnel are dispatched to so they can immediately dispatch medical personnel.
The Center has computerized and computer aided dispatch (CAD). The CAD system provides the dispatchers with several valuable functions and features. For example, the dispatchers can now quickly determine if an address is within our jurisdiction or that of another agency. CAD also contains a listing of emergency telephone numbers for many of the businesses in Chico should we need to contact them after business hours.
When calling the Communications Center, please keep in mind the following guidelines to assist the dispatcher in providing the best response possible for your call. If the situation is URGENT, you need to convey this to Dispatch. It will dictate the priority of the call and the time it takes the officer to respond. For emergencies, dial 9 - 1 - 1.
- Is the person being a nuisance vs. hostile, harming himself or others.
- What are they doing? Yelling, panhandling, loitering, possibly selling drugs, being disruptive (causing a scene).
- Name of person. If you know, tell us as we know most of the "repeat offenders."
- General description: Sex, race, approximate age, and physical description. The more descriptive, the better the officer can deal with the problem. Trying to find a "needle in a haystack" can delay them.
- Are drugs, alcohol, or weapons involved? What kind(s) of weapon(s)?
- Multiple subjects? How many?
- Exact location of subject(s) or incident.
- If a vehicle is involved, try to get its description, license number, and direction of travel.
- Is anyone hurt? Are they trapped inside? Do we need to send special fire equipment? How many people are hurt?
- Is the roadway blocked or clear? If the involved parties can safely move their vehicles they should do so.
- Where have they moved to? (For example, they are in the west side of the Thrifty parking lot.) What are they driving? (For example, a red truck and a blue van - a generic description should do so that the officers may find them.)