We spoke with Santa Cruz 911 Regional Center General Manager, Dennis Kidd, about the top things we need to know about when calling 911.
- Always dial 911 for both emergency and non-emergency calls. You can assist the dispatcher by advising at the beginning of the call whether it is an emergency or a non-emergency call.
- Do not be afraid or feel that you shouldn’t dial 911, the dispatchers are trained to help you, they know how to prioritize the call and they know what to do with every type of call.
- If you see anything that looks wrong, odd or just off, that is happening, please do not ever hesitate to call 911.
- Let the 911 Dispatcher control the call. Do not try to “blast off” with every bit of information you have. They have a specific order they follow to get all the information that is needed. The dispatcher will guide you.
- All dispatchers can handle all Santa Cruz communities and all emergency responders.
- When looking at a situation or crime that is happening, think “what would the officer need to locate or find that person or vehicle?” Examples include: description of their clothing, hat, coat, etc., color and length of hair, age range, body type, ethnicity/race, height, vehicle description, license plate#, etc.
- If you are put on hold, please understand it is not because your call is not important, it is! It’s common for the dispatchers to multi task and handle multiple calls, emergencies and various situations at once. They often “jockey” between ongoing calls as needed, it insures the best and most efficient help to everyone and keeps the calls flowing quickly for all of us and our emergency responders.
- SCR 9-1-1 is the primary Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for Santa Cruz County with the exception of Scotts Valley Police and the University of California at Santa Cruz. SCR 9-1-1 acts as the secondary PSAP for these agencies and maintains a fully equipped and operational Alternate Site in Watsonville.