Burbank Police this past week officially unveiled a new Communications Center after almost two years of work.
The Burbank Police Department’s Communications Center annually receives over 30,000 911 calls as well as 159,000 non-emergency and business calls, police said.
The project was primarily funded by the State of California through the 911 tax on all phones, but police did not respond to a request about the total cost of the project.
In a speech to city council members and police commissioners Tuesday, Capt. Ron Caruso said the center’s furniture was falling apart, provided no management for the extensive wiring and very limited access to the electronic components for service technicians.
The new furniture layout was designed to provide an additional workstation – increasing the total workstations from five to six, Caruso said. The new furniture allowed the installation of additional computer terminals and furniture walls are perforated to allow maximum ventilation.
While the furniture upgrades were taking place, support personnel from Burbank Water and Power were busy installing upgraded data cables in preparation for new radios and Next Generation 911 technology, Caruso said.
“Next Generation 911 is a regional project that will allow the public to contact 911 through other methods such as text, video, and email,” he said. The center will eventually be able to host outside agencies from the region to receive incoming calls and operate radio frequencies, which will be important during times of disasters or other major emergencies.
Because the existing wall fabric had badly deteriorated, the wall fabric as well as the carpeting were among the other improvements, Caruso added.
Dispatchers worked out of a mobile command center on police property during the construction phase, police said.
Burbank Police Department’s Communications Center is only the second California agency certified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.