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The Roseville Police 9-1-1 Center is the primary 24-hr answering point for all police, fire, and medical emergencies within the city limits of Roseville. We answer about 150,000 calls for service each year. The dispatch center also provides all radio communication for both the Roseville Police and Fire Departments.
All dispatchers are trained in Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols and can give life-saving medical instructions prior to the arrival of the first responders.
Dispatchers in the city of Roseville are responsible for answering 911, non-emergency lines and animal control lines. After regular business hours, the police/fire dispatchers also handle most emergencies lines for the city’s other departments.
Our dispatchers also have the opportunity to become members of the Tactical Dispatch Team, CSI, Peer support, Terror Liaison officer and training officer. The training program can take up to two years and is a very exciting profession.
How to become a police/fire dispatcher.
What is an Emergency?
An emergency is when IMMEDIATE Police, Fire, or medical is necessary to protect life or property.
All lines are handled the same regardless of whether is it received on 911 or on a business line. The 911 simply prioritizes our critical workload to answer the phone lines according to true emergencies versus those that aren’t critical.
When calling 9-1-1 it is important to remember to stay on the line, remain calm, and answer all the questions asked of you. DO NOT hang up until the dispatcher advises you to do so.
What is NOT an Emergency?
Loud parties or music
Requests for information
Non-injury vehicle accidents
Time-delayed report calls
Caution: wireless callers should NOT assume that RPD will receive their exact location. When making a 9-1-1 call from a cellular phone, they should stay on the line and advise the dispatcher where they are calling from. At this early stage, testing has shown the GPS data is NOT exact enough to ensure emergency personnel will be able to locate the caller.
Answering 911 questions - What to expect when you call 911?
When should I call 911?
You should call 911 to report a fire, stop a crime in progress and to save a life. 911 should be used for emergencies only.
What happens if I call and hang up?
It depends if the call is coming from a hard line phone or a cell phone.
For hard wired 911 disconnects, the dispatcher will try to call you back. If there is no answer, a police officer will be dispatched to see if there is an emergency. If a child answers on redial, the dispatcher will ask to speak to an adult to confirm the status inside the home. If no adult can confirm there is no emergency, a police officer will be dispatched to the home. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will attempt to break through with the assistance of the operator to see if assistance is needed.
If the hang up occurs from a cell phone, the dispatcher will attempt to call back. If they get voice mail, they will leave a message for the caller to re-contact us to confirm their status. If we aren’t able to confirm there is a misdial and officer can be dispatched to check the area depending on the circumstances.
How do you know my name and address when I call 911?
We have what is called “E911” or enhanced 911 capabilities in our dispatch center. This means that we have a link directly to the telephone company’s computer system. This will automatically show the dispatcher the billing name, billing address and phone number of the caller.
Why do they ask my address when they already have it?
Computers can make mistakes, so it is important we confirm where the assistance is needed. Some callers also call from one location when they actually need the assistance in a different location. In an emergency going to the wrong place can waste precious time.
Can you tell my address when I call 911 from a cellular phone?
Unfortunately NO. The call gives us a tower address to start. There are 5 towers in the city of Roseville and it gives us the closest tower address to the caller. The longer we are on the phone the more it can narrow down the caller’s location. In some cases, it can get within feet of the caller.
Why can’t you just take my non-emergency call on 911 since we are on the line already?
We only have a limited number of incoming 911 lines for the entire city. Any major accident, fire, fight, etc., will cause numerous lines to ring and will quickly tie up the 911 line. If we take your non-emergency call on 911, it may cause a real emergency caller to wait for an available line.
Why do you ask me so many questions when I call 911?
We ask questions pertaining to the location of an incident, description of vehicles and parties involved. Often we ask for clothing descriptions of suspects as well as the victims so the responding officer’s know who is who when they arrive on scene. We also need to know if a crime is still occurring or is occurred at an earlier time. You are the eyes and ears of the dispatcher and they need to get the entire picture to properly advise those responding to assist the caller.
Why can’t you just send help instead of keeping me on the phone?
In an emergency, you are likely to be very upset or even frantic. Remember, while you are speaking to the dispatcher, help is being dispatched and may already be en route to your location. Sometimes the dispatcher will keep you on the phone to calm you until help arrives, give medical instructions to help those in need, or get important location or officer safety information. If you hang up before instructed to do so, you may delay the arrival of help.