Communication Divisions / 911 Dispatch

A language line is provided 24 hours every day for all who need translations in an emergency.

Non-emergency inquiries phone icon  732-349-2010.
138 Chesnut Street
Toms River, NJ 08753

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The Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division consists of a 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), which answers 9-1-1 calls for all 33 of the municipalities in Ocean County and a full Public Safety Dispatch Operation. The operation is a consolidated communications center, serving multiple jurisdictions and disciplines. The Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division provides the highest quality and most professionally competent public services to over 600,000 residents year round and a swell of 1 million residents during the summer travel months.

Law enforcement dispatch services are provided for the Sheriff's Office, Prosecutor's Office, Medical Examiner’s Office, and 13 municipal police agencies. Additionally, Fire Dispatch Services are provided for 39 fire companies, Emergency Medical Dispatch services for 22 first aid squads and the dispatch of 3 special response and tactical support teams. Paramedic and Life Flight dispatch is provided for the entire county. Our Communications Division is a two-stage operation with a dedicated call taker area and a separate dispatch area. The call takers communicate with the police/fire/ems dispatchers through a computer aided dispatch system (CAD). The County's public safety and public service communication needs are handled with the use of a 700 MHz Trunked Radio System.

In continuing its commitment to the safety and security of Ocean County’s residents, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division PSAP underwent several infrastructural enchantments. The 911 center is capable of receiving and dispatching text to 911 calls. During the winter of 2013, a new dispatch center housing all operations was completed. In 2015, additional upgrades were implemented to include additional improvements to dispatch communications and installation of a new emergency 911 phone switch. In the summer of 2016, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office upgraded its computer aided dispatch system as well as provided its officers with a fleet of new mobile data terminals. In 2016, the Sheriff’s Office and several of its dispatched agencies converted to a shared call taking and records management system. In 2019, the police dispatch positions were expanded to allow for 33% more coverage.

The Communications Division is also equipped with a Mobile Command Unit (MCU). The MCU responds to large scale incidents such as fires, multi-casualty incidents and public relations events. It is a mobile command center that is operated and staffed by the members of the Communications Division.

Once considered simply a clerical position, dispatch professionals are now recognized as public safety telecommunicators (PST) and the first responders on the scene of any crime, fire or medical emergency. No longer “just a dispatcher,” these highly trained professionals are protecting callers and responders, preserving evidence and saving lives every day.

Did You Know?
In calendar year 2018, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Communications Division handled over 547,000 telephone calls of which 202,000 were 911 calls. The Division also dispatched 345,000 calls for service (CFS).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 911?
The number 911 is an easy three digit number one may dial on a phone to get help when there is a life-threatening or in-progress emergency. Anyone should dial 911 when there is a suspected fire, serious accident, medical emergency, someone’s life is in danger, suspicious activity or a dangerous crime is taking place.
When you call 911 a professionally-trained public safety telecommunicator or PST will answer the phone. Personnel are trained and dedicated to screening calls quickly and efficiently. The 911 PST will ask questions concerning the emergency and will send help to you, such as the police, fire department or ambulance. If you are not sure whether there is a real emergency, it is better to be safe and call 911.

What Happens When I Call 911?
When you dial 911 in New Jersey the dispatcher can, in most cases, see on a special viewing computer screen the address and phone number you are calling from. When you call 911 from a landline, emergency responders can find you—even if you do not know where you are or you can't speak. That is because calling 911 from a traditional landline (a telephone connected to the lines on the poles) allows a computer in the 911 communications center show the number and address of the phone you are using.

It is called the ANI/ALI (automatic number identification/automatic location identification) and it is standard equipment in any Public Service Answering Point (PSAP), which is colloquially known as a 911 communications center.

Mobile Phones Aren't Landlines –What’s the difference?
When you make a 911 call on a cell phone, you are sending signals through the air. The tower that picks up your phone's signal may be near to your location or not. That is not enough information for the dispatcher to find you. You will need to stay calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions to narrow down your location.

The Federal Communications Commission requires that all wireless carriers must be able to pinpoint your location for the 911 dispatcher, but the protocol is coming in phases and there are plenty of exceptions. Those exceptions may be the distance of the caller from the cell tower, the bandwidth the cell tower is using, the strength of the signal your mobile device has to the tower, the mobile device’s security privileges or ultimately the end user’s capabilities to use the mobile device.

If the mobile device is transmitting its location, the Sheriff’s Office will see your location when a PST answers your 911 call. If the mobile device is not transmitting its location, the PST will send a text message to you to attempt to allow the mobile device to communicate information back to the 911 center. The management of when this is done is at the discretion of the PST and the overall circumstances of the incident at hand.

Communications CONTINUED