9-1-1: What's Your Emergency?
When a Mesa resident has an emergency, the city's computer-aided dispatch
program helps 9-1-1 Operators and Dispatchers send help quickly and
The Dispatch Process:
- A citizen dials 9-1-1 in an emergency situation.
- The caller's telephone provider automatically routes the call to the
appropriate public safety agency.
- A 9-1-1 Operator receives the call. If the call is from a
non-cellular phone, the caller's name, address and telephone number
appear on a computer screen. The 9-1-1 Operator confirms that
information, asks the caller about the emergency and assigns it a
priority. While questioning the caller, the Operator sends the
information via computer to a police or fire Dispatcher.
- The Dispatcher receives the information about the emergency and
confirms the priority rating assigned by the 9-1-1 Operator. In Mesa,
the highest priority, "E," is for life-threatening situations .
The lowest priority, "5," is for report calls.
- Police vehicles are equipped with Global Positioning System (GPS)
technology. Their locations are transmitted to the dispatch and 9-1-1
computers every 30 seconds.
- Location information then is transmitted to laptops in the vehicles.
Each unit, represented by an icon, shows on the computer much like a
tiny game piece: Police cars, bicycles, helicopters, and K-9 are
represented. The icons change color depending on their status.
- When police units respond to an emergency, the address of the caller
is displayed on a computer map in the communications center. The
computer suggests the nearest vehicle. The Dispatcher, who can override
the suggestion or go with it, assigns the call with the click of a
- The police unit receiving a call will see the address on a laptop
screen. With a touch to the screen, the officer can call up a map
showing the most direct route to the caller.
- Because house numbers generally are useless from the air,
helicopters can use the system to get information such as how many
houses from the corner an address is.
- When the emergency has been taken care of, the police officer can
clear the scene via the laptop. The vehicle icon turns to dark blue on
the map, and the unit is available for new calls.
Mesa Police Department
PO Box 1466
Mesa, AZ 85211