Emergency: 9-1-1   /   Non-Emergency:(510) 237-3233

Police Dispatch

The El Cerrito/ Richmond Police Department Dispatch Center is a highly technical environment that operates 24-hours a day , 365 days a year. The Center employs 16 Public Safety Dispatchers and 4 Supervising Public Safety Dispatchers. Our dispatchers serve as the vital link between those in need of help and the emergency services personnel.

In 2018, 220,000 emergency and non-emergency calls were handled by our Public Safety Dispatchers - generating 100,000 calls for service. Recently, the Dispatch Center upgraded their telephone equipment allowing them to receive 9-1-1 cell phone calls made within the city limits. While wireless phones can be an important public safety tool, they also create unique challenges for emergency response personnel. Since wireless phones are mobile, they are not associated with one fixed location or address. While the location of the cell site closest to the 911 caller may provide a general indication of a caller's location, that information is not usually specific enough for rescue personnel to deliver assistance to the caller quickly. When you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone, it is important to immediately provide the dispatcher with two key pieces of information:

  •  What is your location? 
  •  What type of emergency are you reporting? 
  • If you can, stay on the line and answer any additional questions the dispatcher may have. 


 9-1-1 should only be used when reporting a crime in progress or an emergency. An emergency is a situation that threatens  human life or property and demands immediate attention. Some examples of when you should call 9-1-1: 

  •  Medical emergencies
  •  In progress verbal or physical fights 
  • Sexual assaults
  •  Burglaries or robberies in progress or just occurred 
  •  Domestic violence or child abuse incidents
  •  Vehicle accidents with injuries or possible injuries 
  •  Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  •  Suspicious circumstances that could pose a threat to persons or property 
  •  Fire or explosions

If you are reporting a crime that is in progress or has just occurred, there are questions the dispatcher may ask while officers are being dispatched. Please try to remain calm and stay on the line until the dispatcher says you can hang up. These additional questions will not delay a response, and in many cases will give officers a better chance of apprehending suspects.


  • What is the address of your emergency?
  • What are you reporting? What is your name and phone number? 
  • When did this occur?
  • Who is involved? 
  • Why or what provoked the incident?
  • Are there any weapons involved? If so, what kind? 
  • Does anyone need medical attention?

REMEMBER, ACT PRUDENTLY AND SAFELY. You do not help anyone by putting yourself at risk and becoming another victim. 


To report a non-emergency incident with the El Cerrito Police Department, contact the non-emergency phone number at (510) 233-1214. Some examples of non-emergency calls:

  • Thefts or burglaries that are not in progress and did not just occur
  •  Noise disturbances 
  • Past incidents of abuse or cold crimes with suspect information 
  • Car or building alarms 
  • Loitering or disturbing the peace 
  • Civil stand-bys 
  • Non-injury traffic collisions
  •  Animal complaints