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Faster services expected from new 911 dispatch center

Chula Vista residents can expect better, faster services from police, fire and other first responders now that the newly unveiled Chula Vista Communications Center gone into operation. The Police Department has  a larger 911 Emergency Communications Center with an upgraded 911 phone system that allows 11 dispatchers to work simultaneously. Previously, there was room for only eight. The room also has desk space to eventually expand to 14 dispatchers.

Chula Vista Police Chief Roxana Kennedy said the new center gives them room for the additional police dispatchers the department hired with funds from Measure A, a half-cent sales tax increase approved by voters in 2016. Chief Kennedy said they expanded from 26 dispatchers to 33.

“We have more dispatchers that will help us get those officers to them [residents] when they need help,” Kennedy said.

The new center increases location accuracy for anyone who calls 911 and sets the department up for people to text emergencies to 911 in the future, CVPD said. Right now, San Diego County residents can’t text emergencies to 911. Chula Vista is the third city in the County to have the capability, but the entire county will need the capability before the system can go online. Logistical issues with transferring calls need to be worked out before that can happen.

Chief Kennedy said texting 911 in an emergency benefits the deaf and hard of hearing.

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