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Communications Division

How to use 9-1-1
  • Dial 9-1-1 from a safe place
  • State the type and location of the emergency
  • The call taker will confirm your information and ask questions to ensure the proper personnel and equipment are sent to handle the emergency
  • Stay on the line until the call taker or arriving emergency personnel tell you to hang-up. 

When it's an Emergency, dial 9-1-1!  Use 9-1-1 when police, fire, or medical services are needed right away in order to save a life, stop a crime, or report a fire.

When it's NOT an Emergency, dial 1(310) 328-3456 for police services and 1(310) 781-7042 for fire services Using 1(310) 328-3456 and 1(310) 781-7042 helps ensure the City's 9-1-1 system remains free for emergency purposes only.

Use 1(310) 328-3456 when requesting non-emergency police services such as: to report a loud party, a barking dog, or any other noise problem; to report an abandoned automobile in your neighborhood or a car blocking your driveway; to report a crime after it has occurred.  For example, when you wake in the morning and discover your vehicle has been burglarized and the suspect is gone.  


About the Communications Center

The City of Torrance operates a Public Safety Communication Center that serves both the Torrance Police department and the Torrance Fire Department.  The Communication Center is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment in order to provide the highest level of public safety service to the Torrance community.  The Communication Center is staffed by well trained professionals whose mission is to provide both emergency and non-emergency police, fire, and city services for our community in a professional and expedient manner.

The City of Torrance operates its Public Safety Communication Center at 3300 Civic Center Drive in a secure area of the Police Department, with an emergency back-up center located at the South Bay Regional Public Communications Authority in the City of Hawthorne.  The Center has state-of-the-art Enhanced 9-1-1 equipment, which enables us to accept 9-1-1 calls from traditional hard line phones, cellular phones, VoIP phones, and TTY systems.

The Communication Center is responsible for the reception of all incoming Emergency and Non-Emergency calls.  Our Center handles approximately 60,000 police-related 9-1-1 calls and 10,000 fire-related 9-1-1 calls annually.  In addition, our Center receives about 230,000 non-emergency police, and 41,000 fire, calls annually.

When a 9-1-1 call is received, the system automatically identifies the telephone number of the calling party and, with traditional hard line phones and TTY systems, accesses a database for the associated name and address of the caller.  All the information is is displayed on a computer at the 9-1-1 operator's workstation.  When a cellular phone is used to call 9-1-1 in the City of Torrance, our Center receives the call, the caller's cellular phone number and the latitude and longitude of the cellular tower nearest the location of the cellular phone, not the actual location of the caller.  Our call takers can take additional steps to narrow the approximate location of a cellular caller, but currently our Center cannot determine the exact location.  VoIP callers need to remember to program their current location into their VoIP equipment because the programmed location is what will be displayed in the 9-1-1 center and may determine the jurisdiction to where the call will be routed.        

When you call our Public Safety Communication Center the information that you provide is typed into the Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) system and, if the information is related to a police emergency, it becomes immediately available on the computers in the Police Department's patrol cars.  The Center's advanced CAD system computer mapping component can pinpoint the caller's location to aid in directing help to the scene.

All calls to the Public Safety Communication Center are prioritized and dispatchers then send the appropriate City emergency services to handle the call as soon as possible.

Organizationally, the Public Safety Communication Center is part of the Communications and Information Technology Division under the command of a police lieutenant.  The Division is a component of the Services Bureau which is under the command of a Police Captain.  The staff members of the Center include three Police Sergeants, one Fire Captain, seven Police Officers-in-Charge (OIC), and twenty-four dispatcher/call takers.