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Local News

Santa Barbara Police Celebrate New Combined Communications Center

Facility at Granada Garage replaces its former location, in the basement of the department's headquarters, that wasn't considered earthquake-safe

The Santa Barbara Police Department gave select locals a glimpse of its new dispatch center on Thursday, hosting a private ceremony to commemorate its opening.

The Combined Communications Center has moved from the police station on Figueroa Street to the Granada Garage at 1221 Anacapa St. because the former location in the basement of police headquarters was not considered earthquake-safe.

The Communications Center staff answers all emergency 9-1-1 calls, dispatches police, fire, and ambulance personnel/equipment, and provides Emergency Medical Dispatching (EMD) for emergency situations throughout the city. 

Members of the media were invited to check out the temporary facility where 17 dispatchers were at work.

Lt. James Pfleging, who manages the center, said the department plans to hire several more dispatchers.

While the dispatchers fielded calls and monitored computer screens, Mayor Helene Schneider and other Santa Barbara City Council members led a ribbon cutting of yellow police tape before eating celebratory cake.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider cuts the "ribbon" to signify an official opening of the new Combined Communications Center. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Police touted the center with new equipment as a location ensuring all emergency services would continue without disruption following a disaster such as an earthquake. 

The $2 million project was built using previously earmarked funds from the now defunct Redevelopment Agency and the State of California’s 9-1-1 Emergency Communications Branch

In January, the City Council unanimously approved the move as a temporary solution, since the building doesn’t meet higher standards for emergency communications facilities.

Police picked the Granada Garage office building — one of the newer city buildings — for its proximity to the police station, access to the fiber-optic communication network, backup generator and nearby parking.

The city Public Works Department oversaw construction, which included renovating office space for the city’s Environmental Services Division within the garage. 

Authorities said the new facility would reduce the overall footprint for administrative needs, and continue to educate the public about current trends in resource management.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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