New Communications Dispatch Centers

This City of Los Angeles constructed two identical 9-1-1 Dispatch Centers in the San Fernando Valley and Metropolitan area of the City. Under normal conditions, both centers operate concurrently with identical functional capabilities, each processing a geographically defined portion of the City’s call-taking workload. The project was funded with special bonds and was the final element of a major program to replace, upgrade, and enhance the City’s massive emergency communications system. The dispatch centers became fully operational in 2003.

The Metropolitan Dispatch Center was constructed near the Police Department Headquarters in the Civic Center. The Valley Dispatch Center was constructed in West Hills in the San Fernando Valley. Various building features were programmed to ensure performance before, during, and after a major disaster including an earthquake of magnitude 8.3. The structural design includes a “base isolation” system to protect the building and its contents from ground motion generated by an earthquake. The critical building systems (water, power, mechanical, communications) are all supported by back-up systems. The building can function independently for a 72-hour period; but the primary objective of the project was to design a pleasant and stress-reducing work environment for the Police Service Representatives (PSRs).

To provide a stress-reducing work environment for the PSRs (9-1-1 Dispatchers) special consideration was given with regards to noise control, natural lighting sources, spacious work area and high vaulted ceilings. Each console (work area) has 6 flat panel computer screens with a mouse, individual air/heat control, and additional lighting options. The PSR/9-1-1 dispatcher has the ability to work while sitting or standing. The computer panels can be tilted forward or backward to allow full visual range of the screens.

The two centers employ the latest forms of internet and wide-area network technology to pool their call-taking resources automatically, affording the Los Angeles citizens a significantly more responsive and reliable 9-1-1 service, particularly during busy hours (evenings, weekends, and major holidays).

The center is home of the largest Division of the Los Angeles Police Department consisting of 1 Captain III, 5 Lieutenant II, 6 Sergeant II, 9 Senior Police Service Representatives II (PSRs), 54 Senior PSRs I, and 473 PSRs