911 FAQ

 

(Oprima aqui para Español)

 

911 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

1. When was 9-1-1 first introduced?

2. When was Basic 9-1-1 introduced to Ventura County?

3. What is Enhanced 9-1-1 and when was it introduced to Ventura County?

4. Who pays for the 9-1-1 systems?

5. When should I call 9-1-1?

6. What if I’m in doubt about whether I should call or not?

7. What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?

8. How can people who are unable to speak or hear contact 9-1-1?

9. Can a non-English speaking individual use 9-1-1?

10. How are wireless (cellular) 9-1-1 calls handled?

11. What makes wireless 9-1-1 calls different than wireline 9-1-1 calls?

12. How many telephone calls does the Ventura County Sheriff’s Communications Center handle annually?

13. How many calls for service requiring a law enforcement response does the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office handle annually?

14. Are there other telephone numbers that can be used to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office?


1. When was 9-1-1 first introduced?

The first 9-1-1 call was placed on February 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama by Alabama Speaker of the House Rankin Fite. Tom Bevill answered the call on a bright red phone located in the Haleyville Police Department.

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2. When was Basic 9-1-1 introduced to Ventura County?

In 1983.

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3. What is Enhanced 9-1-1 and when was it introduced to Ventura County?

Enhanced 9-1-1 was introduced to Ventura County in 1984 and is designed to provide the caller’s location and telephone number, when using a wireline/landline phone, to the call-taker.

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4. Who pays for the 9-1-1 systems?

Taxpayers pay a 9-1-1 surcharge on their telephone bill that helps to pay for the 9-1-1 infrastructure and some equipment upgrades in the public safety answering points (PSAPs).

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5. When should I call 9-1-1?

Anytime you have a need for immediate assistance from the police, fire department or paramedics.

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6. What if I’m in doubt about whether I should call or not?

Don’t hesitate – CALL!

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7. What if I call 9-1-1 by mistake?

Please DO NOT HANG UP. Tell the call-taker that you accidentally dialed 9-1-1. If you hang up without speaking, it is assumed that there may be an emergency at your location and police officers may be sent to make contact with you.

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8. How can people who are unable to speak or hear contact 9-1-1?

If these individuals have a teletype/telecommunications device in their home, they can contact the communications center (which has specialized text telephone equipment for responding to these calls).

If these individuals do not have this device in their home, they should call 9-1-1 from a hard-wired phone and leave the line open.  In most cases, their address will be displayed for the call-taker.

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9. Can a non-English speaking individual use 9-1-1?

Yes. California provides conference call capability to translation services for 9-1-1 calls. The Ventura County Sheriff’s Communications Center (SCC) has access to a service that offers translators for more than 140 languages and dialects. 

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10. How are wireless (cellular) 9-1-1 calls handled?

Currently, most wireless 9-1-1 calls in Ventura County are routed to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), though there are some exceptions. The CHP call-taker can transfer the caller to the appropriate agency.

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11. What makes wireless 9-1-1 calls different than wireline 9-1-1?  calls?

Wireless 9-1-1 calls are not attached to a fixed location. Therefore, the location that is provided to the call-taker is either the location of the cell tower or the latitude and longitude of the caller. Because of technology limitations, the caller’s actual location could be several meters away from the location that is displayed to the call-taker.

With wireline 9-1-1 calls, the location information is attached to your residence or business and is routed to the appropriate public safety answering point. Though not perfect, it is much more reliable.

In all cases, it is important for you to tell the call-taker where you are and what you need. This will ensure that you receive the assistance you need.

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12. How many telephone calls does the Ventura County Sheriff’s  Communications Center handle annually?

In 2007, the SCC handled 372,897 incoming and outgoing telephone calls. Of those, 210,540 were incoming telephone calls and 68,776 of the incoming calls were received via 9-1-1

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13. How many calls for service requiring a law enforcement response does the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office handle annually?

In 2007, the Sheriff’s Office responded to 105,806 calls for service. However, there were a total of 306,280 incidents when traffic stops, subject stops and calls handled by the SCC are factored in.

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14. Are there other telephone numbers that can be used to contact the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office?

Yes. For general questions or non-emergency law enforcement assistance, please call:

Ojai Police Department (805) 646-1414
Fillmore Police Department (805) 524-2233
Camarillo Police Department (805) 388-5100
Moorpark Police Department (805) 532-2700
Thousand Oaks Police Department (805) 494-8200
Countywide (805) 654-9511

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