SPD announcing changes to processing of 911 calls

Julie Humphreys, Public Safety Communication Manager

Friday, October 28, 2022 at 1:47 p.m.

All calls for emergency services (Police, Fire, EMS) are processed through a unified communications center. The communications center houses both Spokane Regional Emergency Communication employees (SREC) and SPD dispatchers. The change comes as both SPD and SREC seek to maximize the efficiency of limited resources while dealing with increased workloads.

In some situations citizens may not experience any difference in service, while the process for other calls will shift. Below you will find information about the changing process and guidance for how a caller can help us provide the best service possible.

For all 911 calls: SREC 911 will continue to answer the phone, ask for the location of the emergency, and ask for a description of the incident. For the most critical, now-occurring emergency, the process remains unchanged; the initial person answering the phone, a SREC 911 communications officer/call taker, will create a conference call with the caller and an SPD dispatcher who will gather crucial and time-sensitive information so the appropriate emergency response can be promptly initiated.

For lower priority 911 calls: All emergency calls must be prioritized for their level or urgency and severity. SREC 911 communications officers will pick up the initial call, take basic information and then forward the call to SPD dispatchers who will take the bulk of the information from callers. The immediate hand-off to SPD dispatchers is the change and may cause some disruption for callers. The forwarding process may mean callers are placed on hold for a brief period of time until a dispatcher is available; however having a SPD dispatcher obtain pertinent information will help them to evaluate where officers are needed most when there are multiple active incidents.

What citizens can do to maximize efficiency: Use 911 for in-progress, or just-occurred, criminal acts such as violent crimes or other life-threatening emergencies. Use Crime Check (509.456.2233) to report all other non-emergent crimes or law enforcement needs. Depending on the nature of the incident being reported, the SREC Crime Check communications officers will either take a report via phone or forward the call to SPD dispatch. Using the correct numbers will maximize efficiency while keeping the 911 lines open for life-threatening emergencies. As always, try to be as clear as possible about the nature of the emergency.

SPD would like to thank our partners at SREC for working with our staff as we take on these new responsibilities. Over the last several weeks, SREC’s supervisors and trainers have worked to ensure SPD’s resources (both human and technical) are ready for the new system to be implemented. The transition will occur October 31, and final preparations are being completed. SPD leadership would like to acknowledge the excellent work, professionalism, and integrity of the SPD dispatch center staff. They are true first responders and always committed to both community and officer safety. This change is going to benefit our community in the long term, but will significantly impact our dispatchers while we increase staffing levels.

With the new system comes new opportunity, and the SPD dispatch center is hiring! We are seeking dedicated individuals looking for a worthwhile career. Our dispatchers are an integral part of our team, and their efforts have a dramatic impact on those in our community during their most trying times. Ready for an exciting and rewarding career with competitive compensation? Apply now.

Contact Police

For in progress crimes and emergencies call 911

To report a non-emergent crime contact:

To provide crime activity or suspect information that doesn't require immediate action contact:

For general police email contact:

For nuisance reports, including code violations (i.e. illegal camping, substantial litter in yards or alleys, graffiti, land use violations), parking complaints, and road condition issues contact:

Media Relations Contact

Julie Humphreys