Operational Layout

The Main Communications Room contains nine console work positions.

    In general, each position has the basic capability to communicate by radio, to answer 911 phone calls, and to enter and view information on the Computer-Aided Dispatch system. Most positions have additional, specialized equipment and computer displays for answering business phones, receiving fire box alarms, alerting fire stations, monitoring mutual aid fire alarms, accessing the CJIS/NCIC/NLETS police computer systems, viewing the ID's of radio transmissions, monitoring city alarms, viewing recent E911 phone activity, accessing police and fire computer systems and the Internet, operating paging equipment,  managing the hub of the police and fire mobile data system, and controlling security access to the Center. A recent addition (2001) has been a Tactical Map Display which integrates the real-time mapping of 911 call locations (based on ALI), CAD incidents, and unit locations (based on CAD status).

    Over time, all dispatchers are cross-trained and certified in five basic functional areas: call-taking (both emergency and informational), police dispatching, CJIS computer operations, fire dispatching, and emergency medical dispatching.

    The console positions are designated as follows: Call Taker 1, Call Taker 2, Call Taker 3, Police Dispatcher 1, Police Dispatcher 2, Fire Dispatcher 1, Fire Dispatcher 2, Supervisor, and Overflow. The Chief of Operations has equipment forming the ninth position. Key positions are always staffed, while others are staffed only when needed. Most tasks can be performed from nearly any position, although specialized equipment is located in certain positions (notably Fire Alarm and CJIS equipment).

Contact Information

125 Sixth Street
Cambridge MA 02142

Phone:617-349-6911

Hours of Service

Emergencies: 24/7
Administrative Office: M-F 8:30-5

Cambridge Alert Network

Cambridge Alert Network