The California State University, Fullerton Police Department's Communications Unit is the primary public safety answering point for all 9-1-1 calls on the Fullerton and Irvine Campuses. Additionally, the Communications Unit receives calls from Emergency Blue Pole phones and on the Department's business lines. The Communications Center operates 24 hours, 7 days a week. It is staffed by 6 full-time and 3 part-time dispatchers. All dispatchers must attend a minimum 120-hour POST Certified class in order to be certified. Dispatchers also attend trainings throughout the year to help retain their skills and introduce them to new information.
The Communications Center is the direct link between faculty, staff, students, and officers in the field and provides service to our community. Dispatchers must be able to field hundreds of incoming calls each day, determine the best course of action, and forward that information to the appropriate resource. Not only must dispatchers be able to handle these calls for assistance, but they must also monitor multiple radio frequencies, dispatch calls to the police units, access a variety of local, state, and federal databases, assign report numbers, and track officer activity in the field.
Dispatchers often encounter irate, frustrated, or frightened callers needing help. During emergency situations, dispatchers must operate in the utmost calm and efficient manner in order to control the flow of information. Because each incoming call may vary from a request for general information to a report of a life threatening incident, the dispatcher must ask specific questions and control the conversation to accurately prioritize the call and assign it to a police officer or other appropriate field unit. The more quickly we can gather pertinent details of what occurred, what do involved parties look like or are wearing, what vehicles (if any) are involved and what the vehicles look like, etc., the more quickly the responding officers will be provided that information. Obtaining pertinent information rapidly is a very crucial part of a dispatcher's job.
The Communications Unit operates with a myriad of technical equipment, including the Sun Ridge Systems Computer Aided Dispatch, Positron phone workstations, and a Motorola 800 MHz radio system. Dispatch also monitors burglary and robbery alarms on campus. Each component assists the dispatchers in performing their jobs efficiently and effectively.
Dispatchers that work with the North County SWAT Team and CSUF Critical Response Unit receive additional training for the special assignment. Those dispatchers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be called into work if needed.