South Sound 911 occupies a new unified, regional 911 communications center in Tacoma which serves communities and first responders countywide.

Nearly 10 years in the making, including two years of construction, South Sound 911’s grand opening was Oct. 25, 2021.


South Sound 911’s 74,528 sq. ft. facility houses 911 and police and fire dispatch, a municipal emergency operations center (EOC), administration, technology, records and public counter services. It was constructed to meet National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Emergency Number Association (NENA), and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) standards for essential facilities. It is designed to withstand natural or man-made catastrophic events so South Sound 911 may continue providing critical emergency services for first responders and the countywide community.

Designed by an architectural team led by CallisonRTKL, the vision for South Sound 911’s facility was unveiled to the public at a community meeting on Aug. 22, 2018.

While some aspects of the building are more traditional in design, such as the offices and administrative space, some aspects of the building require more open space, such as the communications center.

Architects drew inspiration from many sources, including museums, where there is a need for large spaces, controlled lighting, and typically do not have many windows. Acoustical engineers provided insight on ways to help control sound, so the critical work of answering 911 calls and dispatching responders will not be burdened by unwanted environmental noise.

For the exterior, designers used a mix of materials including insulated metal panels, vertical seam metal panels, precast concrete, ipe wood, and metal canopies and railings.