EMERGENCY DISPATCH

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 who oversees a unit of four Emergency Dispatch Clerks

and two Emergency Dispatch Clerk-II's.  

 

Our Emergency Dispatchers are also records clerks who 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 2016, our call center received 3,644 emergency 911 calls and 6,339 non-emergency calls for service.  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 2016, our average response time for emergency calls was 2.54 minutes.   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.

 

What you need to know about 9-1-1

 

  • 9-1-1 is a three digit telephone number that you can call 24 hours a day for police, fire or medical emergencies.

  • 9-1-1 should only be used for life-threatening emergencies or in-progress crimes.

  • If you call 9-1-1 with a situation that is not deemed to be an emergency, Scotts Valley dispatchers will refer you to the non-emergency number (831) 440-5670.

  • When you call 9-1-1 from a non-VOIP landline, your address, telephone number and the billing name of the residence is automatically displayed on our phone system; however, we will ask for this information each time you call 9-1-1 to verify the information for accuracy.

 

What happens when you call 9-1-1?

 

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.

 

What to expect when you call 9-1-1

 

The types of questions you should be prepared to answer are:

  • Is this a police, fire or medical emergency?

  • Where is the emergency occurring?

  • What is occurring?

  • When did this occur?

  • Do you have any suspect and/or suspect vehicle descriptions?  Direction of travel or license plates?

  • Are any weapons involved? (gun, knife, stick, etc.)

 

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.

 

Examples of Emergency calls:

  • In-progress crimes

  • House/structure fire

  • A person has been shot

  • Bank/business robbery

  • Burglary in-progress/just occurred

  • Someone is having a heart attack

  • Traffic accident with injuries involved

  • Life threatening medical aid 

 

Please do not call 9-1-1 for Non-Emergency calls such as:

  • Loud party or music

  • Parking violations

  • Barking dogs

  • Loss of electricity

  • My car was towed. How do I get it back?

  • Traffic Jams

  • Non-injury traffic accidents 

 

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 for responding officers to the scene of a serious crime.

 

Calling 9-1-1 and Hanging Up

 

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

 

Some cellular calls are still being routed through the CHP depending upon your service provider and your location at time of call. If you are in the city limits of Scotts Valley and want to reach the Scotts Valley Police Department you can always 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 and dial 9-1-1 from your cellular phone the CHP may handle your call and will transfer you to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

 

Position 1 at SVPD