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Communications: 911 Dispatch Center

The Brea Police Department Communications Center operates 365 days a year and is open 24 hours a day. Staff includes a Communications Supervisor, Senior Dispatchers, Full-time Dispatchers and Part-time Dispatchers that are called to assist when needed. There are also nine part-time dispatchers that are called to assist when needed. Dispatching is one of the most stressful and demanding positions in law enforcement. A successful dispatcher must be able to communicate clearly with the public, stay calm while assisting the caller and officers, handle stressful situations over the phone or radio, and master a long list of technology tools. The Brea Police Department always strives to provide excellent customer service and that effort nearly always starts in the Communications Center.

The Police Department has always recognized the importance of answering calls for service in a timely manner. Calls for service are prioritized into several categories with emergency calls being the most important. Over the last year, our dispatchers have sent officers or civilian members to an average of 16,638 calls for service and processed a total of 38,036 incidents. We recognize our communications team for their significant part in this accomplishment.

Average Emergency Response Time
September 2022
2 mins, 53 secs

Emergency Response Time

How is emergency response time calculated? 

Emergency response time is calculated from the time of the initial call received by a police department call-taker (dispatch) to the time of the first unit’s (police officer) arrival to the location.

The time of call entry is noted when the call taker (dispatch) confirms the caller’s address in our system as she/he is speaking with the caller.

Please note that there are variables that affect how long it takes to determine a location. If the caller does not know their exact address, the call-taker must work to determine the location or if the caller is under distress and unable to relay information sufficiently, the call-taker must attempt to decipher details quickly and efficiently.

The time of arrival is marked when the responding officer verbally broadcasts over the radio that she/he is on scene or will mark their arrival by using a push-button notification on their mobile data terminal in their police unit.

Do different types of emergencies warrant a different response time? 

All emergency calls are handled with a very similar protocol. All 911 calls are received by the police department’s communications (dispatch) team. Varying scenarios include:

  • Police Calls – Police dispatch will mobilize police units to respond to the call.
  • Fire/Medical Aid Calls – If a 911 fire or medical aid call comes in, police dispatch will assess the type of call and will connect with fire dispatch (Metro Net Fire Dispatch is the emergency communications center that dispatches fire/medical services throughout Brea. They are located in Anaheim). Police units are typically sent out to ensure the area is secure.

911 Call Process

911 for Kids

In 2008, Congress recognized April as 9-1-1 Education Month. Many agencies across the country participate in a coordinated education campaign to promote the appropriate use of 9-1-1. Employees in the Brea Police Department Communications Center have been visiting elementary schools to educate young children on the proper use of 9-1-1. Employees have visited several elementary schools to give presentations and have set up information booths at events in the city. The presentations are meant to be interactive and to get the children involved so that they can easily identify situations when they should call 9-1-1 and those which are not real emergencies. It also encourages them to know their home address and other important information. Our goal is that children will be excited about the information they learned and will take it home to share with family members, neighbors, and friends.  Although our emphasis is during the month of April, we are happy to schedule these presentations outside of that month.  If you would like to schedule a presentation, please contact us at our non-emergency number (714)-990-7911.

Tips for parents and caretakers:

  • Talk to your children about the appropriate use of 9-1-1
  • Teach your children important addresses and phone numbers and/or keep a list of important addresses and phone numbers in a visible spot where they can easily locate it
  • NEVER let your children play with a phone; even a cell phone without service can still call 9-1-1
  • Teach your children that police are here to help if they have an emergency