South Sound 911 Communications employees are highly trained professionals who collectively work to support the answering of over a million calls and over 3,800 texts-to-911 each year and the dispatching of officers from 19 law enforcement agencies and firefighters from 17 fire agencies, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. (Visit the Police & Fire Agencies page for the partner agencies served by South Sound 911.
When you call 911, a call taker answers your call. At South Sound 911 these positions are referred to as a telecommunicator (TC) or communication support officer (CSO). A TC answers incoming emergency 911 calls or non-emergency calls, while a CSO is dedicated to the handling of non-emergency calls.
While you are on the line, the call taker relays relevant information to a law enforcement or fire dispatcher who communicates with responders in the field. Dispatchers provide responders with information they need to act on your call for assistance. Data dispatchers also work closely with patrol units to confirm warrants, coordinate impounds, and perform various searches to provide assistance.
Additionally, for residents and businesses in the City of Tacoma, South Sound 911’s staff works with the communications center operated by the Tacoma Fire Department. The Tacoma Fire Department provides fire/EMS dispatch for the cities of Tacoma, Fife, Fircrest, and Ruston. Fire/EMS calls received by South Sound 911 in those cities are transferred to the Tacoma Fire Department.
No doubt about it, from the call to the response, it is a well-oiled and modern public safety system utilizing computer-aided dispatch (CAD) to facilitate communications between the call taker, dispatcher, and responders, as well as through VHF, 700 MHz and 800 MHz radio.
File a Police Report
Please use the online reporting system to report select non-emergency incidents or visit Update Previous Report to add information about a crime previously reported. The online reporting system is available only for crimes occurring in certain jurisdictions meeting specific criteria. Please read through the instructions before attempting to submit a report. DO NOT use online reporting to report emergencies or in-progress crimes.
Tools You Can Use
There are several resources available should you need to contact 911 in an emergency:
- Text-to-911 is available for the Deaf, hard of hearing, or speech disabled, or for times when you cannot speak during the emergency — either due to a medical event or if talking to 911 would escalate the situation.
- what3words can be used to find a cell phone’s location within 3 meters, anywhere in the world! South Sound 911 staff can receive what3words information to help get a better location for you during a 911 call.
- Emergency Health Profile is a free service which allows a caller to voluntarily share medical or household information with 911 in case of an emergency and 911 is called from the associated device. You can update information at any time, but it is recommended that information be reviewed an updated every six months.
Requesting Copies of 911 Calls
State law requires that South Sound 911 keep recordings of 911 calls for 90 days. The public may request copies of specific 911 calls by submitting a Public Records Request, though currently South Sound 911 only provides these records for its partner law enforcement agencies. For copies of fire/EMS 911 audio or reports, please contact the relevant fire department directly.