911 Communications Center

Communications Center

The Oxnard Emergency Communications Center answers 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls for Oxnard around-the-clock. Emergency communications personnel dispatch police, fire, emergency medical services, animal control and code compliance calls.

When a telephone call is received by the Center either via 9-1-1 or on a non-emergency line, the dispatcher enters the information into the Computer Aided Dispatch system. The information is then prioritized for dispatch.


9-1-1 from a fixed wire phone (such as in most residences and businesses) provides Communications Center personnel with address and telephone information. This information is crucial in providing emergency services to callers.

The dispatcher records that information immediately in case the caller hangs up before the necessary information has been gathered. If that happens, the dispatcher can call the person back.

Wireless or cellular phones will either go to the California Highway Patrol or to Oxnard's Communications Center, depending upon your location in Oxnard. Since location information is not accurate in these calls, it is imperative that you know your location to give to the dispatcher.

It is important that callers only use 9-1-1 for immediate public safety assistance. Non-emergency requests are handled by calling 385-7740.

Emergency Medical Dispatch

While dispatchers are not trained to answer medical questions, the Emergency Medical Dispatch program allows dispatchers to provide callers with life saving instructions on various types of medical emergencies to supplement responding emergency assistance.

When should you call 9-1-1?

Calls to 9-1-1 should be reserved for emergencies such as a serious medical emergency, any type of fire, any crime in-progress or any other life threatening situations.

In order to correctly assess the situation for a prioritized response, you will be asked certain questions which are vital to the safety of the caller and the responding officer(s).

When you call 9-1-1, the dispatcher is automatically provided with the phone number and the location that you are calling from. You will be asked to verify this information, since quite often people call 9-1-1 from locations other than where the incident is occurring. If you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone it is very important that you provide the phone number and location to the dispatcher.

The dispatcher will ask what you are reporting. You should give a quick description of what occurred. You will be asked a series of questions which are extremely important to the proper handling of the call. These may include:

  • Is anyone injured?
  • How long ago did the incident occur?
  • Were there weapons involved and if so, what type?
  • Did the suspect flee, and if so, which direction?
  • What was the mode of transportation, a car, a bike or on foot?
  • If a vehicle was involved, what was the description and what was the direction of travel?
  • What was the physical description of the suspect?
  • What was the clothing description?

Although these may seem like an unreasonable number of questions during an emergency, they are very important. For example, if a burglary has just occurred and the suspect flees, the officers have a much better chance of apprehending the suspect if they have a good description of the suspect and the direction that was taken. More importantly, if the incident in question involved a weapon, the life of the officer may depend on the information given.

A common misconception is that dispatchers wait until finishing the call before sending help. During a true emergency, the dispatchers work as a team. One remains on the line with the caller and passes on information to another dispatcher, who dispatches police officers, firefighters or other emergency personnel.

It is very important that you stay on the line during a call to 9-1-1. The dispatcher will continue to ask you questions while emergency responders are on the way.

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, do not hang up. Stay on the line and explain that you do not actually have an emergency. If a 9-1-1 caller hangs up without stating the problem, the caller must be contacted in order to ensure that no actual emergency exists. This may involve the dispatching of an officer to your home or place of business in order to verify that.

If you need the police, but it is not an emergency, please call our non emergency line at 385-7740. Examples of calls which should be placed to the non emergency line are:

  • Traffic accidents which do not involve injuries
  • Loud music
  • Late reported incidents such as a theft with no suspect information
  • Malfunctioning of traffic signals
  • Requests for information


Administration Services Divisions

Communications Division

» 911 Communications Center
» Training Coordinator

Professional Standards Division

» Internal Affairs Unit
» Specials Services Unit
» Training Unit

Support Services Division

» Technology Services Unit
» Financial Services Unit

Records & Property Division

» Property and Evidence Unit
» Records Unit

Policy Manual

» 2013 OPD Policy Manual