On average, each person will dial 9-1-1 at least twice in their lifetime. Whether faced with a large-scale emergency situation in the wake of a natural disaster or simply reporting a traffic hazard, the only thing that connects people to the first responder assistance they need are the dedicated 9-1-1 dispatchers working at the Los Angeles Communications Center (LACC) and in emergency call centers across the State of California. The men and women of LACC form the critical link between first responders and motorists logging over 100 million daily miles on Los Angeles County freeways. Staffed 24 hours a day, LACC Public Safety Dispatchers and Operators work tirelessly behind the scenes to handle 9-1-1 calls, non-emergency calls and dispatching for over 1,500 uniformed personnel and 300 tow truck operators. Calling 9-1-1 for any reason can often be an overwhelming and stressful experience. LACC has over 180 dispatch personnel who are trained to offer both emergency and non-emergency information and are certified by the Commission on Police Officer Standards and Training (POST). On average, LACC handles over 2.7 million calls per year, while providing critical operational support to our 10 CHP field offices. Dispatchers are also responsible for tracking and updating a multitude of local, state and national criminal justice databases. LACC is a 18,000 square foot facility situated near the geographical center of Los Angeles County and only 7 miles from Downtown Los Angeles. LACC houses 54 state-of-the-art consoles equipped to handle radio communications, telephone communications and computer aided dispatch (CAD) functions. LACC also serves as the command for 22 uniformed personnel responsible for the oversight of LACC, its Traffic Management Center (TMC), Metro’s Freeway Service Patrol (FSP) tow trucks and Metro’s Express Lanes. In November 2014, CHP Communication Centers were formally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Having received this honor, the CHP became the first accredited state highway patrol in the nation to receive communications accreditation. In January 2017, CHP Communications Centers were certified by the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International. APCO is the world’s oldest and largest organization of public safety communications professionals and supports the largest U.S. membership base of any public safety association.
Captain Melissa A. Hammond first joined the California Highway Patrol as a civilian analyst in 2001. After nearly four years of working at Headquarters in Sacramento, she chose to follow in her father’s footsteps and go the Academy. Upon graduation, Captain Hammond was all too excited to be assigned to a command in Southern California as she was born and raised on the east end of Los Angeles County.
As a sworn peace officer, Captain Hammond has spent her entire career working in the Los Angeles region. She considers it an honor and a privilege to serve the communities that helped raise and mold her into the working professional she has become. As the commander of the Los Angeles Communications Center, Captain Hammond is tasked with managing the largest command in the state with over 200 sworn and civilian employees and the largest communications center in the state with over 2.1 million calls received each year.