|New communications tower
St. Louis County Police Department, Bureau of Communications is an organization within the Division of Operational Support. The Bureau is responsible for the operation of a central telephone service desk and radio communications system for the Department, authorized agencies, and municipalities contracting for 911 and communications services. In 2012 there were 42 agencies that contracted for services.
The Bureau of Communications is responsible for processing, answering, and evaluating incoming phone calls to determine the level of service needed, and the dispatching of police officers or other services to provide an appropriate response. The Bureau has the capabilities to staff thirteen (13) call takers and up to eight (8) authorized radio frequencies. Daily operations include monitoring and dispatching six (6) radio frequencies and several other auxiliary frequencies essential to daily operations.
September 11, 2001 brought to the forefront one of the challenges emergency responders have battled for years: the ability to communicate directly with each other in a timely fashion. The St. Louis County Emergency Communications Commission (ECC), the Bureau of Communications, and the Office of Emergency Management are building a new emergency communications center and establishing an 800 MHz trunked radio system to ensure full interoperability between firefighters, EMS, police, hospitals, public works, and other groups to better manage incidents by sharing vital information quickly.
In 2012, the Bureau answered almost 800,000 incoming telephone calls requesting emergency 911 services or other items of information and maintained an average answer time of 2.6 seconds. The Bureau serves as a 24-hour per day lifeline for police officers providing relevant information, access to additional resources, and constant inter-agency communication.