The Scotts Valley Police Department's Emergency Dispatchers are part of the Administrative Services Division. This unit is under the direct supervision of Services Supervisor Tamera Melrose and she oversees a unit of four Emergency Dispatch Clerks and two Emergency Dispatch Clerk-II's.
Our Emergency Dispatchers are also records clerks so they perform a multitude of duties beyond dispatching. Scotts Valley's emergency dispatch center is a 24/7 operation that receives thousands of calls for service each year.
In 2013, our call center received 3,176 emergency 911 calls and more than 19,000 non-emergency calls. Emergency Dispatchers are typically the first point of contact with members of the public. Dispatchers must quickly determine the nature of a call, if any emergency is occurring, where it is occurring and ensure the most appropriate agencies respond. Our call center is the Primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the citizens located in the city limits of Scotts Valley.
Fire and medical emergencies are not dispatched from our call center they are handled by the Santa Cruz Regional 911 Center. Our agency works very closely with all local agencies such as the Scotts Valley Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department. Our dispatchers pride themselves on diagnosing calls and promptly transferring them to the appropriate agency to ensure the most efficient response time. In 2009, our average response time for emergency calls was 2 minutes and 41 seconds. The dispatchers work twelve hour shifts just like the police officers, so there is always somebody to greet citizens who come into our lobby anytime day or night.
The dispatcher will ask you what type of emergency you have – Police? Fire? Or Medical? You must remember to stay on the line, try to remain calm and answer all of the dispatcher’s questions. It is important to not hang up until the dispatcher instructs you to do so.
The types of questions you should be prepared to answer are:
You will be asked to give your name, address and telephone number (anonymous calls are accepted). If you wish the responding police officers to contact you at your home or your business, advise the 9-1-1 dispatcher.
Please do not call 9-1-1 for Non-Emergency calls such as:
Calls to 9-1-1 for non-emergencies require the dispatcher to divert his or her attention away from real emergencies and may create a delay in responding officers to the scene of a serious crime.
Whether you call 9-1-1 on purpose or by accident, the dispatcher will receive your information even if you terminate the call before the line is answered. The dispatcher will immediately call you back and inquire if an emergency exists. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will have an operator interrupt your call so that he/she may determine if it is an emergency at your residence or business. If the line is not answered when the dispatcher attempts to call, an officer will be dispatched to the address on our screen to “check the welfare” of the residence or business.
These procedures are followed as a safeguard in the event someone tries to make a discreet call and is interrupted or unable to speak for various reasons.
If you dial 9-1-1 in error, please remain on the line and advise the dispatcher you have made a mistake.
Calling 9-1-1 from Your Cell Phone
Currently, the State of California is working with the California Highway Patrol to direct cellular calls to the most appropriate PSAP. This project is still underway and until it is complete, some cellular calls are still being routed through the CHP depending upon your service provider. Once complete all calls regardless of cellular or landline will be directed to Scotts Valley Police as long as you are in the city limits and not on Highway 17. If you are in the city limits of Scotts Valley and want to reach the Scotts Valley Police Department you can call the business line at (831) 440-5670. You might want to program that number into your cellular phone. If you are outside the Scotts Valley city limits dial 9-1-1 from your cellular phone and the CHP will handle your call or transfer you to the appropriate law enforcement agency.