Redondo Beach Police Department Communications Manager: Lieutenant James Acquarelli
Communications Unit Telephone Numbers
Calls for Emergency service: 9-1-1
Calls for Police and Fire response: (310) 379-5411
Supervisor Number: (310) 379-2477 x 1-2374
Hours of Operation
The Communications Unit operates twenty-four (24) hours a day, seven (7) days a week. 9-1-1
What is 9-1-1?
9-1-1 is the number to call for help when you have police, fire or medical emergencies.
9-1-1 is for EMERGENCY use only.
9-1-1 connects you to your local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
A team of well-trained and highly skilled emergency services dispatchers will coordinate the response of police, fire, medical and other emergency services to assist you.
If you do not have an emergency but require the response of police, fire or ambulance personnel to your location, please call the non-emergency request for services line at: (310) 379-5411
These are the same emergency services dispatchers that answer 9-1-1 calls.
9-1-1 is for Emergencies
What is considered an “emergency” for 9-1-1?
An emergency is any situation that requires the immediate assistance of personnel:
Medical (paramedic / ambulance)
To protect life, physical well-being or property from danger
If you are in doubt if a situation is an emergency, you should call 9-1-1.
Why do you limit 9-1-1 to emergency calls?
This keeps 9-1-1 lines open to receive the most serious calls and to help you when you most need it.
What should I do when I call 9-1-1 in an emergency?
Speak clearly and at a normal pace
Know the address, intersection or business name from which you are calling
Tell the call taker if the situation or incident is occurring at a different place than from where you are calling
When giving addresses, include the exact address with the suite or apartment number
Tell the call taker about business names or landmarks if you do not know where you are
Tell the call taker your name and telephone number if asked
Wait for the call taker to ask you questions
Let the call taker guide the conversation
Follow all directions
Keep watching what is happening.
Do not hang up until the call taker tells you to hang up.
9-1-1 Busy ?
What can I do if I am in Redondo Beach and 9-1-1 is busy?
Hang up and call 9-1-1 again
Call 1-(310) 379-5411
Program this number into your cellular phone or to speed dial.
Why is the 9-1-1 line busy?
An emergency incident with many callers is occurring in Redondo Beach
Multiple emergency incidents are occurring simultaneously in Redondo Beach
You are using a cellular telephone and accessing the California Highway Patrol or other large agency with significant simultaneous 9-1-1 calls for service. Depending on the time of day and the number of incidents occurring in these large jurisdictions, they could be operating at their call answering capacity.
The Redondo Beach Communications Center emergency services dispatchers answered approximately 25,000 9-1-1 calls in fiscal year 2010-2011 in less than 6 seconds 98% of the time.
The Redondo Beach Communications 9-1-1 system is generally not impacted to its full capacity that would result in a busy signal being received by the calling party. There are areas of Redondo Beach, near the ocean and near our borders where a cellular telephone dialing 9-1-1 will route to the cellular telephone tower with the best signal. This could be a tower site controlled by another law enforcement agency's Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). We have experienced calls being made from Redondo Beach and received at cell towers in Malibu and other jurisdictions. These agencies will route your call to Redondo Beach as quickly as possible when they answer it. Redondo Beach has also received cellular 9-1-1 calls made in Malibu. If you are in Redondo Beach and you receive a busy signal, try to dial 9-1-1 again, or dial the eleven digit telephone number 1-310-379-5411. Many residents program the eleven digit number into their cellular telephone contact list. You can place this number at the top of your contact list by using an exclamation point in front of our name identifier (Example: ! RBPD)
Does the Redondo Beach Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) Communications Unit have TTY/TDD capability?
How would the TTY/TDD system work if I make a 9-1-1 call using my device?
What are some examples of the questions that the call taker will ask me if I need emergency medical services?
What are some examples of the questions that the call taker will ask me if I need fire department services?
What are some examples of the questions that the call taker will ask me if I need police department services?
What messages might I see if I call through a service, or if I call the eleven digit number for the Communications Unit?
How may I contact the police, fire or emergency medical services if I cannot access my TTY/TDD device in an emergency, or if I am away from home?
If I dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone, can emergency responders find me?
9-1-1 Dialed in Error
What should I do if I dialed 9-1-1 accidentally?
Stay on the line to speak with the call taker.
Tell the call taker that 9-1-1 was dialed by mistake
The call taker may ask you some questions to confirm that it is an error
If you hang up, we must:
Return calls to you, and/or
Send police officers to check on your welfare
If we send the police officers when an emergency is not occurring, we deplete resources that would be used for real emergency situations
Many people misdial 9-1-1 when they mean to dial 4-1-1, or accidentally hit a speed dial function
We understand these errors; don’t be afraid of the mistake.
"Should Use" 9-1-1 Examples
What are some examples of appropriate 9-1-1 calls?
The following are some examples of situations when you should call 9-1-1:
Fires or smoke are seen
A strong smell of natural gas in your home or neighborhood
Life threatening situations are occurring
Someone is injured, such as:
Hypo and hyperglycemia
Blunt force injuries
A traffic collision with injuries or unknown injuries has just occurred within the last few minutes.
Crimes are occurring or have just occurred within the last few minutes:
Robbery (a suspect takes property by force or fear and the suspect is present or just fled)
Burglary (a suspect is in your home now)
You return home to find your door open and believe that a stranger may be in your home
Fallen trees or wires
Vicious animal running loose
Hazardous chemical spills
If you are unsure if your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1 anyway.
If the dispatcher determines that your call is not considered an emergency, you will be asked to hang up and call our ten digit telephone number for services.
"Should Not Use" 9-1-1 Examples
What are some examples of calls that are not valid for 9-1-1?
The following are some examples when you should not call 9-1-1:
For general information about police or fire business practices, calendar events, etc.
To report parking violations
To report panhandlers
To report cars blocking streets or driveways unless there is an imminent danger to life or property
To ask for the telephone number of another police or fire department.
To report a non-injury traffic collisions.
To report a neighbor’s loud party
To ask if an earthquake just occurred.
To ask for information about a child custody dispute
To report a theft (when the suspect is not present or never seen)
To report that your neighbor’s dog is barking incessantly.
To report that the power is out in your home. (Call Southern California Edison)
(310) 379-5411 Calls for Service Number
What are some examples of calls that should be made to (310) 379-5411?
For any reason that you need the services of, to speak in-person with, or to request enforcement of the law by a police officer, firefighter, animal control officer, parking enforcement officer to include but not limited to:
To report parking violations
To report dogs off-leash
To report suspicious circumstances regarding a person or vehicle
To report people drinking alcohol in a park
To report panhandlers
To report cars blocking streets or driveways
To report a non-injury traffic collisions.
To report a neighbor’s loud party
To ask for officer's assistance to keep the peace or report a child custody dispute
To report a theft when the suspect is not present or never seen
To report that the neighbor’s dog is barking incessantly.
To report a hit and run traffic collision that occurred the previous day
To report items stolen during an unknown time period
Any other incident or situation where you want the in-person response of public safety services.
(310) 379-2477 Business Information Number
When should I call the police department's business line at (310) 379-2477?
To request general information:
About anything involving police department policies, procedures or activities
About police or fire business practices, calendar events, etc.
About the enforcement of the law
About a city event
About obtaining a police report
About recovering your property
About obtaining a restraining order
About victim assistance information
To refer a commendation for or complaint against a police department member
To seek referral to resources
To obtain a copy of a police report
To determine the status of an inmate in the jail
To refer a concern about a person, place, or thing related to possible criminal conduct
To obtain information about the status of an investigation
To request any other services or information that does not require the immediate response of an officer to assist you.
What information does 9-1-1 usually provide the dispatcher that dialing a ten digit telephone number does not provide?
The Public Safety Answering Point dispatchers may see your:
Automatic Number Identification (ANI)
Automatic Location Identification (ALI)
Automatic Number Identification:
The ANI feature provides your billing address number to the dispatcher for your land-based, wired telephone service or the telephone number for your cellular telephone.
Automatic Location Identification:
The ALI feature provides your address location to the dispatcher for your land-based, wired telephone. ALI also provides the billing name for the residence or business.
Do the ANI and ALI features of 9-1-1 always work? If I call 9-1-1, why is the dispatcher asking to confirm my number and location?
ANI and ALI information does not always work with 9-1-1.
This failure may occur when the originating telephone number is not passed to the dispatcher. This may occur:
When you are transferred from another Public Safety Answering Point to the Redondo Beach PSAP, or
When the telephone number is not in the ALI database of the telephone company
The Redondo Beach Police Department works with the telephone company and 9-1-1 authorities to update the Automatic Location Identification and Master Street Address Guide databases when this occurs.
May I report an incident anonymously?
However, your anonymity is less apt to happen if you dial 9-1-1.
Your call may be more anonymous if you call the eleven digit number, 1-310-379-5411.
You can report illegal activity or information about a crime without telling the dispatcher your name. However, it is important to remember that you play a significant role as a citizen in assisting police and fire personnel to realize the successful outcome of a call.
If you are willing to provide your information as a victim or witness, the ability of police officers to apprehend and prosecute criminals will be greatly increased.
In some instances, police officers may be unable to make arrests without a witness or victim who is willing to come forward.
Your name, address and phone number are not routinely released to the public.
Every attempt is made to keep your information confidential within the restrictions of law.
It may be necessary for us to contact you, even if only by telephone, to obtain additional or updated information regarding a call for service.
Are there differences between the information that the dispatcher receives for a land-based wire line telephone, a cellular telephone and a Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephone?
Land-based wire line telephones: the dispatcher will see the address where the telephone company shows the telephone is installed and/or the account is billed.
Wireless cellular telephones: the location may see:
A set of coordinates
The physical address of the cellular tower that received and forwarded the call
An area in the direction the cellular tower antenna is facing
An address location near where you have made the call
The ability to show your location depends on the type of technology used by your cellular provider.
If you call from a cellular telephone, you must assume the dispatcher does not know where you are when you call. Depending upon the type of phone and level of service, it may be possible for dispatchers to know your general calling area, but that is not guaranteed. Therefore, you MUST stay on the line and give the dispatcher your location when calling from a cellular telephone.
Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones: the dispatcher will see the address that you programmed as your 9-1-1 address, not necessarily the location from which you are calling.
If you take your laptop and VoIP service on the road to a different city, it will still probably show that you are calling from your billing address.
Make sure to update your location with your service provider as needed.
Can you call 9-1-1 from a pay telephone without depositing money?
A pay telephone does not require money to dial 9-1-1.
Will a cellular telephone with discontinued service (account terminated) call 9-1-1?
If the cellular telephone is charged and has access to a cellular tower, it will call 9-1-1, even if the account is canceled.
Is it Important?
What information is important?
Almost all information is important.
Do not presume that something is not important, especially when giving the description of a person, of a vehicle or of a person’s actions.
The dispatcher will ask you questions to help you.
Be patient with the dispatcher and answer all the questions. These questions are necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved.
Even if the dispatcher’s questions seem unrelated or repetitious, let him or her lead the conversation and answer their questions as directly as you can.
Dispatchers are trained to gather information in a certain order and to assess the situation quickly to decide what assistance will best help you. All calls are recorded.
What types of questions will the call taker/dispatcher ask me?
The call taker will ask you basic questions about where, what, when and how is or did the incident occur. Be prepared to answer the following questions:
Where is the incident occurring?
An address (with an apartment or unit number if it is inside a building)
A business name
A name of a park, school or attraction.
What is occurring or has occurred?
A Medical emergency
A fire emergency
A property damage emergency (flooding, sewer overflow, etc.)
When did it occur?
It is happening now.
It happened two minutes ago.
It happened between 10:00 a.m. and noon
Don’t know when it happened.
A person is injured
A fire started or smoke was seen
A person is choking
A crime is occurring/occurred
Are weapons involved?
A person had a gun
How many people have weapons?
A person had a knife, baseball bat, etc.
Did they use them or just display them?
Where did they hide them?
Who is the suspect?
Do you know them or are they a stranger?
What did they look like?
Clothing (from head to foot: a hat, shirt, jacket, pants, shoes; color, type, condition, etc.)
Approximate age, height, weight, facial hair, hair style, hair color
How did they leave?
Did they leave in a vehicle, on a bicycle, motorcycle or on foot?
Make, model or size, color, condition of the vehicle; any traffic collision damage, decals, racks,etc.?
How many other people were in the vehicle?
What direction did they leave?
North, south, east, west
Toward the airport, toward Palos Verdes, away from the beach, toward the beach
Know the direction your home faces
Know the directions of your street
Know the name of the street and the houses immediately behind you
Why are they asking me so many questions?
Why does the call taker keep asking me questions instead of telling a police officer or firefighter to help me?
There are several reasons that this occurs:
There are a team of call takers and dispatchers handling your call, not just the person talking to you.
The “call taker” is speaking with you to obtain as much information as possible for first responders.
The call taker is typing your answers and important information into the computer record of the call.
The call taker is sending the information to the dispatcher and to the field units via computer and by voice every few seconds.
This ensures that the proper number of people, the correct equipment and other resources will arrive immediately at your location.
You will not hear the communication between the dispatcher and the first responders, but they are most likely on their way if it is a priority call.
Your responses to the dispatcher’s questions increases the chances of a suspect being caught, a crime being solved or a firefighter/paramedic being able to render the correct assistance immediately.
Why did the call taker ____ ?
Why do the call takers seem abrupt and direct?
Sometimes, there are more incoming phone calls than there are call takers and dispatchers to answer them. So, it is important for them to get "just the facts."
Call takers and dispatchers are coordinating multiple responses for service in addition to yours.
Call takers may place you on hold multiple times to allow them to screen incoming emergency calls to ensure they do not require immediate assistance.
Your safety and the safety of the emergency responders is our primary objective.
The call taker may have to interrupt your story to get the essential facts into the computer record early, so that we can send the best help to you as quickly as possible.
Call takers should make every attempt to do so politely and professionally.
Customer service is very important to us.
Why didn’t the call taker understand and acknowledge how afraid I felt? Why weren't they more empathetic or sympathetic?
Call takers are trained:
To remain calm
To obtain accurate and useful information as quickly as possible
To treat callers with respect and dignity
To take control of situation to elicit information for the safety of the public and officers
Call takers do understand the trauma and urgency of your call.
Call takers cannot allow themselves to express their own feelings until the situation is over.
Call takers have dealt with serious and sometimes horrific situations on the telephone many times before.
Why can’t the call taker tell me how long it will be until the officer arrives?
The call taker could attempt to estimate the amount of time, but it would not be accurate.
Officers respond to emergency calls first and all others based on a priority rating.
For emergency calls, it is likely that officers will respond from all areas of the city to assist you immediately.
For report calls or for meetings with officers to discuss a situation, the time to respond is subject to change based on the call priorities in your patrol area and throughout the city.
The number of calls for service and their priority level are constantly changing. These will affect the response times of officers to your request for service.
Do Redondo Beach Public Safety Dispatchers provide medical care instructions before the arrival of emergency services personnel?
The Redondo Beach Public Safety Answering Point does not currently provide emergency medical dispatch services.
Our operators will not provide medical care instructions before the arrival of emergency services personnel.
What are call priorities for the police calls for service?
All calls for service are coordinated in a Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system.
The CAD system has pre-designated rankings of each type of call for service.
Priority I: Emergency calls for service such as a crime in progress or just occurred or a traffic collision with injuries
Examples: robbery, burglary, assault, fights, fires, medical aid, traffic stops, etc.
Priority II: Urgent calls for service such as a crime that recently occurred or a traffic collision that occurred with no injuries
Examples: noise disturbances, vandalism, suspicious persons or vehicles, reckless drivers, alarms, 9-1-1 call when the caller does not speak with the dispatcher, traffic control, traffic or safety hazards, etc.
Priority III: Calls for service that require personnel to respond to write a report or provide information
Examples: property crime reports, area checks, illegal parking, lost and found property, patrol requests, security checks, etc.
Priority IV: Calls for service that provide general information to public safety personnel
Priority V: Calls for service that provide notices to public safety personnel about current conditions
How fast do police and fire personnel usually respond to an emergency call in Redondo Beach? Police officers usually arrive at priority police emergency calls for service within approximately four minutes from the time that the call is made.
Firefighters and paramedics usually arrive at priority fire emergency calls for service within approximately five minutes from the time that the call is made.
At the Scene
Should I try to intervene when I see a crime in progress?
Act carefully and safely.
Do not put yourself in danger, if it is not necessary.
Do not become a new victim.
Be a good witness; your information may do more to solve the crime than your intervention.
How may I best help emergency responders at an incident?
Try to remain calm.
Be patient with the call taker/dispatcher.
Make mental or written notes of what you see (persons, vehicles, suspicious activity, etc.)
Stay out of harm’s way.
Remain at the scene to speak with officers.
Why didn’t the police officers come to talk to me first when the crime occurred?
Officers will usually respond directly to your location. However, officers do consider the following and more when they respond to an emergency incident:
Is the scene of the incident safe for victims and witnesses?
If officers believe that the emergency nature of the incident has stabilized at the scene, they may choose to:
Go to primary escape routes to look for the described suspect or suspect vehicle.
Search the immediate area streets for the suspect or evidence.
Recover evidence abandoned by the suspect.
Surround an area with multiple officers to prevent the suspect's escape.
Search the last area where the suspect was seen to apprehend him/her.
Interview persons who last saw the suspect as he/she fled and act on this information.
If you are safe and not injured, officers may ask the call taker to obtain as much information as possible from you that will allow them to find and arrest the suspect.
The police departments of the Los Angeles County South Bay region work closely together and share all of this information by telephone and radio with field units.
When you report a crime that has just occurred in one city, the information is monitored, shared and used in multiple cities.
How may I assist officers who are responding to my residence or business?
Display your address number on your building so that it can be seen by emergency responders.
In an emergency every second counts.
Use numbers that contrast in color with the background wall color.
Put them under a light fixture if possible.
If your property is on an alley, display the numbers on the garage or fence on your alley property.
When reporting a crime, have as much information ready as possible.
How does my location in a patrol area affect the response time to my request to make a police report?
There are five patrol areas in the city.
The police department assigns officers to the same patrol areas (as much as possible) on their work days.
This allows officers to know the people and unique crime, nuisance and other activities of that area.
Officers respond to calls in their patrol area based on priority.
Example: an officer may be responding to your request to make a theft report of a stolen bicycle. The officer's estimated arrival time would be five minutes. A domestic violence incident with physical violence is occurring and is reported by a neighbor. The officer will be diverted to this in-progress crime. The officer would be delayed due to a probable arrest and booking of a suspect prior to returning to your report call. If other officers are available in the areas near your location, they may respond to take your report. However, similar priority calls for service may apply in their response to calls in their area.
Can you help me if I cannot explain what is happening in English?
The Communications Center has translation capability through a telephone service with access to more that a hundred languages and dialects.