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Communications Bureau

Police Emergency: Dial 911

Non-Emergency: Dial 231-6130
Police Communications Montage (911 Cell Phone, Police Dispatcher and 2 police running)

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 three-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.