Through the effective, efficient and directed management
of all facets of communication, it is the mission of the Communications
Bureau to ensure the safety of the public and the officers that serve
them, reduce crime to improve quality of life and provide the benchmark
of customer service to all that we serve.
It is the intent of the Communications Bureau to promptly and
courteously receive and record requests for police service; dispatch a
police unit to handle every justifiable request made by the public for
police service; provide the department with centralized control of
personnel; and facilitate field operations through the rapid
dissemination of critical information by radio and telephone.
The Communications Bureau is central to the police function.
Every call for police service must be received, recorded, dispatched and
concluded by this area. The bureau is the vital link between citizens
requiring police services and the officers who respond to the event. In 2011, the Tampa
Police Department Communications Bureau processed 955,039 calls. Of these,
377,887 calls to the Communications Bureau were placed
directly to 911. Just over 70% of all incoming 911 calls were made with the
use of cellular telephones.
Employment begins with one week of observation followed by a two-week
Communications Academy covering systems, geography, procedures, and
tactics. Training then continues with a minimum of 16 weeks of on the
job instruction as the probationary employee is assigned to one of the
Communication Training Officers on the various positions.
There are 14 primary call-taking positions and 6 primary dispatch positions. There are 8 radio dispatch desks and
two "Pick Up Desk" positions for FDLE information, entering warrants and
calling out wreckers.
The city is divided into three police districts, each with two sectors.
These six sectors, as well as Wants and Warrants, all require a primary
radio channel and dedicated dispatcher. Dispatchers are also committed
to a Special Operations channel when required for events such as
Tactical Response Team activations or large events; including those
unique to the City of Tampa such as Guavaween, Gasparilla, and the
2012 Republican National Convention.