The Communications Unit is the information center of the Department. Nine Telecommunications Officers, three Senior Telecommunications Officers and one Communications Manager are assigned to maintain this unit 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. For more information contact Jerry Ward, Communications Manager, (480) 474-5448.
Telecommunications Officers are responsible for receiving all incoming 911 emergency calls and non-emergency calls. The calls are prioritized, entered into a CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system and then dispatched to police officers. Statistics are kept on the number of emergency and non-emergency calls received. For 2016 the number of calls dispatched totaled 50,812, which is broken down by priority, with "priority one" being highest level of emergency, and "priority three" being the lowest level of emergency.
- Priority One Calls - 2,731
- Priority Two Calls - 12,190
- Priority Three Calls - 35,891
When a missing child report is received, it is the responsibility of the Communications Unit to assist in determining if requirements have been met to issue an Amber Alert. If those conditions have been met, the Communications Manager implements the Amber Alert system.
The Communication Unit also coordinates the Alarm Permit Program. When alarm systems are not properly used or maintained, the number of calls for police service increases, which also increases the cost in taxpayer dollars.
Community Emergency Notification System (CENS)
The Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) is a program utilized by the Communications Unit which will notify certain areas of the community about emergency-type information by sending a recorded telephone message to all telephones within a predetermined area at one time. Examples of when it might be used include a missing child or elderly person, a threat of danger in a particular area, or health alert due to an environmental issue.
Cell and VoIP phones are not part of the 911 database; however, the public can now register Cell or VoIP phones with the CENS system. (CENS notifications are based on the address you provide for your Cell and or VoIP phone.)
To register your Cell or VoIP phone to receive CENS notifications, visit visit the Maricopa County CENS site.