9-1-1 From Your Cell Phone
Berkeley Police Department strongly recommends cell phone users to program our police dispatch number into their cell phone to speed up the emergency process and save the loss of time involved in the transferring of the call. Cell phone users in Berkeley can program 510-981-5911 (local - no toll charge) into their phones for a direct connection to the Communications Center.
Many community members are unaware that if you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone, the call is captured by the nearest cellular tower and directly routed to the nearest California Highway Patrol (CHP) dispatch center. In the Berkeley area, calls go to the CHP dispatch center in Vallejo, where the dispatcher receives only information regarding the cell phone number making the call. The dispatcher will then inquire as to the location of the caller and transfer it to the appropriate local law enforcement agency. On the other hand, when you dial 9-1-1 from a land-line, the dispatcher receives computer aided information such as police, fire and medical jurisdictions, the telephone number making the call, and the address the call is being made from.
If you must make a 9-1-1 call from your cell phone, it is important to stay on the line and provide the dispatcher with as much information about the exact location of the emergency to ensure the help can be dispatched to the correct location. CHP dispatch center in Vallejo received over 2 million 9-1-1 cell calls in 2007.