serves as a support entity for the entire Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and many surrounding agencies. The communications division is the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for the City of Charlotte, the City of Huntersville, the City of Davidson, Charlotte Douglas International Airport Operations and the surrounding unincorporated county areas. As the PSAP, the communications division has the responsibility to staff and answer, on a 24-hour basis, the telephones upon which calls for service are received. This includes 911 emergency calls (police, fire, and MEDIC).
The communications division handles only police related calls for the City. When a 911 call for the Charlotte City Fire Department is received, the caller is connected with the Fire Department. If the 911 caller needs an ambulance, the call is then connected to MEDIC.
How 911 Works:
Types of Police Response
- Your 911 call will be one of more than 68,000 answered each month by a Telecommunicator in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
- Telecommunicators are the specially trained civilians who answer your call to 911.
- The first question the Telecommunicator will ask is if you need Police, Fire or Medic. It is important to answer that question first to avoid any delays. Calls for Fire and Medic are relayed immediately to those agencies
- If you need Police, tell the Telecommunicator what type of crime you are calling about. For example, "I'm calling about a robbery...about a car accident...about a fight."
- Then give the location of the telephone you are calling from. If you don't know the block number, give the closest street name or intersection.
- The Telecommunicator may ask you a variety of questions to help Dispatchers determine the priority of the call and how many officers to send – Answering the questions will not delay police services.
- The more information you can provide the Telecommunicator, the better assistance we can provide and the more information we can give officers before they arrive on the scene
- One of the last things the Telecommunicator will ask is if you want to be seen by the officer or be anonymous
Most common Police Calls:
- Because there are so many calls for police attention, calls are ranked by their urgency. If an immediate response is needed, a police car is always dispatched as soon as possible
- For other, less urgent situations, an officer may arrive up to an hour after your call
- Not every call to the Police Department is an emergency or one that requires sending a police officer to the scene. In that case, you may make a report by telephone to 311 and the Crime Reporting Unit
Telecommunicators are trained to get as much information as possible. Here are examples of the three most common 911 calls.
Charlotte’s Back-Up PSAP
-- Give the block number or nearest location
-- Injuries - details are not necessary
-- Fuel spill, a possible fire danger
-- Give the sex, race and age
-- Describe the suspicious activity
-- See any weapons?
-- Get vehicle description (color, make, model, year)
-- Is the vehicle occupied? (how many, age, sex, race)
-- Is the vehicle parked or moving?
Charlotte has a fully functional, state of the art back-up center. The center is set up so that should there be an emergency, CMPD, CFD and MEDIC could all work out of one center. This was put to the test during the DNC in September of 2012. The center is tested several times a year and ready at a moment’s notice.