Golden Gate Division


Golden Gate Communications Center

Who we are:
The Golden Gate Communications Center is one of 24 California Highway Patrol Communications Centers throughout the State. We serve the nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area which includes Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma.

What we do:
Our 157 Public Safety Dispatchers, Public Safety Operators, and Dispatch Supervisors answer an average of 92,804 wireless 9-1-1 calls, and 18,184 public information and allied agency calls, per month. Additionally, we provide radio communications for 12 California Highway Patrol (CHP) Area offices.

What's the 4-1-1 on 9-1-1?

Q.     What is 9-1-1?
A.     9-1-1 is the telephone number used nationwide for callers to report emergencies.

Q.     What is considered an "Emergency"?
A.     An emergency is an immediate threat to life or property requiring an emergency response from law enforcement, fire department, or medical services.

Q.     When should I call?
A.     9-1-1 should be called for life-threatening situations, during medical emergencies, when a crime is in progress, when there is a car accident, or when there is fire. You should also call 9-1-1 to report reckless or drunk drivers, or to report stalled vehicles or debris blocking the roadway.

Q.     When shouldn't I call?
A.     9-1-1 should not be used as a replacement for your local law enforcement agency's non-emergency number. Do not use 9-1-1 to report power, telephone, cable or water outages, abandoned vehicles or other parking issues. Never use 9-1-1 to ask for the phone number to your local law enforcement agency, to test your phone, ask for directions, or for traffic and road conditions and NEVER, as a joke or prank; it's illegal and you may be prosecuted. Additionally, do not let your child play with your old cellular phone. Even though it does not have service, it is still capable of dialing 9-1-1.

Q.     When I dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone, who answers?
A.     When a wireless 9-1-1 call is made from a cell phone, that call is transmitted to the nearest cell tower. The cell tower then sends the call to the Public Safety Answering Point designated to receive the wireless 9-1-1 calls from that area. Depending on your location, you may not be immediately connected with your local emergency dispatch center. However, you will be transferred to the appropriate agency.

Q.     Why am I asked so many questions when I call?
A.     We require basic information when you call. Because of the nature and limitations of cellular telephones, you must be prepared to give us your location, including address, street, and cross street. If you are on the freeway you need to be able to tell the dispatcher which freeway you are on, the direction of travel and the name of the nearest on or off ramp. You will also need to give the dispatcher a brief description of the emergency. We will ask for your name and the telephone number from which you are calling. We understand your call is urgent. Remain calm, speak clearly and be patient. The details are important in order to assure you receive the appropriate services.

Q.     Why don't you know where I am when I use my cell phone?
A.     Cell phones are convenient, however you must understand their service limitations; they don't always provide your location. Based on the technology used, if a location is received, it may not be precise and we will need more information from you. Be prepared to give the dispatcher your exact location.

Q.     When I call 9-1-1, why doesn't someone answer on the first ring?
A.     Delays may be experienced when dispatchers receive multiple calls for a single incident, or when they have difficulty obtaining the correct location of an incident. Be patient and stay on the line. Your phone call will be answered as soon as an operator becomes available. Delays can also occur due to intentional misuse of 9-1-1 - remember, it's against the law!