When a citizen has an emergency anywhere in King County, the call is routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 center. If the system is not programmed for the correct center, the call is routed to the King County Communications Center where we determine which agency has jurisdiction and forward the call to them.
The King County Sheriff’s Office handles calls from unincorporated King County, twelve cities, Metro Transit Police, King County Airport Police, and King County Animal Control. Over half a million people rely on our call receivers, dispatchers, and other personnel. Our staff answer and dispatch calls for police services, take police reports by phone, research “tape” requests, support the computer aided dispatch (CAD) and E-911 systems, and manage a host of special projects and functions.
Processing and Dispatching Calls
All calls are received and processed by an electronic call router and delivered to waiting call taking operators based on whether 9-1-1 or a non-emergency number was dialed. The call is answered and screened for emergency response criteria by a primary (emergency) operator. If a deputy will be dispatched, the operator enters the information into a computer aided dispatch (CAD) system and it is electronically routed to the proper dispatcher based on the location of the call. If the call can be handled without dispatching a deputy, or if an incident report will be taken in the Communications Center, the caller is routed to a secondary (non-emergency) operator to acquire the necessary information and prepare the report. Dispatchers process the information received in CAD, as well as information received from deputies talking to them on the radio. Dispatchers may have as many as 50 units on one radio channel, coordinating work between Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives as well as providing radio contact for contract cities, King County Animal Control and Metro Transit Police.