The Communications Bureau is the critical link between the community and patrol units in the field. Dispatch communication centers are staffed 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has 3 communication centers. Central Dispatch is located in Riverside, the Coachella Valley Dispatch Center is located in Palm Desert, and the Colorado River Dispatch Center is located in Blythe. The centers provide the highest quality and most professionally competent public services to over 1 million residents of Riverside County.
Dispatch communications centers handle emergency 9-1-1 calls for service as well as wireless calls, non-emergency, and allied agency calls. The calls for service range from in-progress crimes such as a robbery or an assault to non-emergency calls, such as past petty thefts or loud music disturbance calls. Communication centers are also responsible for the dispatching of patrol units to calls for service and specialized units, such as HDT (Hazardous Device Team), EST (Emergency Service Team) and CF (California Fire Arson Investigators), to name a few.
Did You Know?
In calendar year 2011 Riverside County Dispatch Centers handled over 1.6 million telephone calls. 303,220 were 9-1-1 or other calls for emergency service.
The dispatch centers dispatched 753,132 incidents for an average of 2063 incidents per day, and also tracked 216,899 traffic stops and 36,841 vehicle checks performed by officers.
A nine-week Dispatch Academy as well as a three-week Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) are required before an individual can join the Riverside County Sheriff's Department Dispatch Communications team. Two different communications skills are taught:
- Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) focuses on call-taking and interviewing techniques, as well as all phone, CAD (Computer Aided Dispatching) and records systems.
- Radio teaches the basics of dispatching calls for service as well as how to deal with critical incidents on the radio and the workings of the radio system.