About the Department of Emergency Communications

Page updated on Jun 8, 2018 at 3:06 PM
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Our Mission and Vision

The Department of Emergency Communications (DEC) is the Public Safety Answering Point for all emergency services – law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services – within the City of Alexandria.  All 9-1-1 calls are routed through DEC along with non-emergency telephone calls of varying concerns and requests. DEC provides 24-hour, two-way radio communications and other essential services to the following police, sheriff, and fire departments, and other local public safety departments.

The mission of the Department of Emergency Communications is to provide a safe and secure environment  by facilitating Police, Fire and Medical Dispatch, to preserve and protect lives  and property of all persons living in and visiting the City of Alexandria.

Our vision is to provide our community with exemplary service in both public safety 911 and city services 311. 

Who We Are

The Department of Emergency Communications is composed of 60 seasoned, professional staff who operate in the following areas:

  • 9-1-1 Dispatch -- receives and dispatches 9-1-1 emergency calls. 
  • Non-Emergency -- Police, Fire, EMS non-emergency calls (703.746.4444).
  • Call.Click.Connect - provides a single point of contact for City Government services and information (703.746.4357).
  • City Radio Manager – operates and maintains the Project 25 (P25) Standard radio system utilized by the Department of Emergency Communications and other City departments.

DEC Celebrates National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, CALEA Accreditation
The City of Alexandria joins the nation in celebrating National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 8-14. The annual recognition is dedicated to thanking and honoring those who serve as the “first of the first responders,” receiving 9-1-1 calls and providing 24-hour assistance to those in need of fire, police and emergency medical services.  In March, Alexandria’s 9-1-1 center obtained Public Safety Communications Accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). Alexandria’s 9-1-1 center is the only one in the region, and one of only seven in Virginia, to hold such accreditation. 

In the last year, DEC has implemented several enhancements to the City's 9-1-1 services, including the ability for those who cannot call to text to 9-1-1, and the ability for residents and businesses to create Smart911 profiles to provide critical information to dispatchers in advance of emergencies.

City Adds "Smart911" Service to Aid Emergency Response 
The City of Alexandria has joined the nationwide “Smart911” service, which lets residents, businesses and visitors provide information to 9-1-1 dispatchers in advance of emergencies.

The free Smart911 service allows individuals and businesses to create online safety profiles with home, workplace and mobile phone numbers, along with additional information that would be valuable to dispatchers and first responders during an emergency. This information often includes home or work addresses, details about medical conditions, hazardous materials on the property, pets, and emergency contacts. Users are prompted to update their safety profiles every six months to ensure their information remains accurate. Even with a safety profile, it is still important that 9-1-1 callers, particularly those with mobile phones, provide their current locations to dispatchers at the start of each call.

Smart911 safety profiles are kept confidential and secure, and are only available to trained dispatchers in participating 9-1-1 centers across the country. This allows mobile phone users to provide their profile information when they travel, and makes it easy to update profiles with new landline numbers after a move. Smart911 is currently available in more than 1,500 communities in the U.S., across 40 states.

Alexandria First Responders Recognized at White House Ceremony
On July 27, three officers from the Alexandria Police Department received the Public Safety Medal of Valor in recognition of their heroism during the June 14 shooting incident at Eugene Simpson Stadium Park.  Personnel in attendance from the Department of Emergency Communications, Police Department, Fire Department, Sheriff’s Office and other partner agencies who responded to the incident were also recognized. 

First Responders Recognized 

(From l to r) DEC A-Shift members Raul Aleman, Tiana Allen, Ericka Flournoy, Linda Garcia, Caitlin Cool, Rick Czarnowsky, Cheryl Davis, Valerie Bunsu, Amber Croxton, and DEC Director Renee Gordon)

Our Core Values

  • Professionalism – We exhibit conscientious, courteous, and businesslike behavior in the workplace and conform to the highest ethical and technical standards of our profession.
  • Integrity – We are strongly committed to the highest performance standards, moral and ethical conduct, and truthfulness in all relationships.
  • Service – We provide quality service in a courteous, efficient, and accessible manner.
  • Excellence – We consistently strive to demonstrate our professional and technical excellence.
  • Respect – We treat all persons, including our co-workers and residents during their time of need, in a fair, in an impartial, unbiased, dignified and courteous manner, with respect for individual differences and ethnic and cultural diversity.
  • Dignity – We treat all persons with dignity during their time of need.
  • Pride – We take great pride in our skills, our fellow co-workers, our organization and in our commitment to public service.
  • Partnership – We value our relationships with others and make quality, transparent decisions in cooperation with our co-workers and customers.
  • Accountability – We hold ourselves accountable for our actions and we are accountable to the community for all that we do.