The Board of Supervisors incorporated the Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center under the Sheriff in 1977 to provide centralized dispatching for public safety agencies and to serve the citizens as a central public safety answering point for the emergency telephone system.
The Center is charged with determining and prioritizing citizen needs for public safety assistance within the guidelines of agency policies, with allocating public safety resources among existing and anticipated needs, and with supporting and assisting public safety resources via radio and telecommunications systems.
Dispatch responsibilities are countywide. In addition to the Sheriff's Department and its contracted cities of Goleta, Carpinteria, Buellton and Solvang, County Dispatch also serves the Guadalupe Police Department. In addition to the County Fire Department, Dispatch also serves the Guadalupe Fire District. Emergency Medical Services responsibilities extend to all of Santa Barbara County, including all of the cities, with the exception of Vandenberg AFB.
The Center's workload is divided among its various tasks approximately as follows:
As the only twenty-four-hour communications facility with area-wide responsibility, the Center serves a number of County, State, and Federal agencies having a need for communications facilities.
In a typical 24-hour period, the Center handles approximately 791 telephone calls. Of these calls, approximately 157 are on the 9-1-1 emergency telephone system. All areas of the County have Enhanced 9-1-1 with display of telephone number and address at the Dispatch consoles. The other 634 calls each day are on four public and thirteen other-agency emergency lines and Dispatch-direct non-emergency lines from all areas of the County. In addition to dispatch-related answering, the Center provides some after-hours answering of various Sheriff’s and other County Departments' business lines.
On a typical day, the Center dispatches an average of 481 calls for service to Public Safety resources. (In 2013, the Center dispatched 123,810 calls for Law Enforcement services, 15,312 calls for Fire services, and 32,352 calls for Emergency Medical services.)
A key concept in the incorporation of the Center was efficiency in dispatching services. In 1975, there were thirty-eight public safety dispatchers operating nine different dispatching points for our current user agencies. In 1975, an individual dispatcher handled 1300 calls for service. In 2013, our average staffing in the Center was 28 dispatchers, and each of them handled nearly 6300 calls for service.
Currently, the Center is budgeted for thirty-two positions: one Communications Dispatch Manager, six Communications Dispatcher Supervisors, twenty-four Communications Dispatchers and one GIS Technician.
NEW! 911, Things Everyone Needs to Know
**To call Santa Barbara County Dispatch for any emergency or non-emergency, instead of using 911,
call (805) 683-2724.**