Report A Crime
Our Organization
Our Response Areas
For Your Safety
Our Newsroom
Print this PageSite Feedback
The Age of Technology

​The three-digit telephone number "9-1-1" has been designated as the "Universal Emergency Number" for citizens throughout the United States to request emergency assistance. It is intended as a nationwide telephone number and gives the public fast and easy access to a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).  In July of 1979 the single number emergency system was implemented.  911 became the number to dial to reach county and city police, medic, and fire. 

On November 24, 1987, Enhanced 911 was installed.  

How it works
This enabled the 911 operator to receive a screen that gave the location and telephone number of the telephone from which the call was placed.  The name that the phone was registered to, the correct medic unit, fire department, police department and city were shown on the screen also, this was a great advancement for Communications and the public. 

Benefit to Public
With Enhanced 911 even when 911 received a hang up call, the 911 operator could still see the location of where the call was placed.  The police were then able to respond to make sure that everything was okay at that location.  Many lives have been saved by this technology.  The phone system for the next nine years was a push button system.  The operator had to physically push a button to answer the 911 call or transfer a caller to another number. 


Intrado – Power 911
In October of 2011 the Intrado Power 911 system was installed in Communications.  This system uses the Enhanced 911 system within a Windows NT environment; all call distribution is done automatically by the computer.  Transferring callers is as easy as a click of mouse.  The ability to accurately record information given in a call, compile statistical information and increase productivity was gained with the implementation of this system. This system also provides the operators with the ability to talk with callers using a TTY system.  Intrado’s Power 911 will detect the TTY sounds and automatically turn on the TTY function so the operator will not have to guess whether or not it’s a TTY call.





First Police Radios installed
In 1930 the first police radios were placed in the police vehicles.  The radios were one-way radios.  Dispatchers could talk to the officers but the officers could not respond back.  By 1933 there were eight police cars in the department.  Before the implementation of the police radios, officers were required to check in each hour with the station. Using call boxes that were placed on the streets, the officer’s would call headquarters and receive the calls that were in their assigned area.  

After two-way radios were created the department installed them in the vehicles.  

450 MgHz
Two-way radios were a 450 MgHz. Radio.  The static level was very high and dead spots abounded.



800 MgHz
​In May 1990 the department converted to an 800 MgHz radio system. This system decreased the radio static and deleted many of the dead spots of the previous 450’s.


Digital Radios
In July of 2012 the city upgraded to an all digital system.







​Officer’s Computers

​In 1988 the police vehicles were equipped with mobile data terminals (MDT), which enabled the officers to receive calls via a computer/radio terminal.  This system also gave them access to vehicle and driver registration information.  The officers could also arrive and clear themselves off of calls.

In 1999 all police officers and their vehicles were equipped with laptop computers. These computers are connected to the current CAD system. The officer is able to receive calls, messages and DCI/NCIC information just as he had on his MDT. But they were also able to receive e-mail for court information, updates on training issues and many other new formats. The officers can type in a report, take witness statements, and fill out departmental f orms directly on their computers. The officer can send his reports directly to the Records Bureau from his vehicle. They take on-line classes, increase and keep track of their call productivity, receive crime alert information on specific addresses and areas.​

 ​ Centracom
In 1996 the Centracom Elite Dispatch system was installed into Communications.  The system integrated the 800-radio system into a Windows NT environment.   The system was connected to the current CAD system and enabled the dispatcher to identify which officer was transmitting on any given channel at any given time. The system also allowed for the immediate notification of an emergency activation by an officer.




Past call taking
All information about calls was recorded on paper and cards. In 1968 the Communications Bureau recorded all calls for service on punch cards.  When a call was received the information was recorded on the card and the time was punched on the card.  The information was then sent to the officers.  Once they were given the call the card was punched again.  When the officers arrived and cleared the card was punched to show that time. 

Computer-aided Dispatch (CAD)
In the early 70’s the first Computer-aided dispatch system was installed.  This was a great step forward in the process of handling and recording calls for police service.  Calls for police service were typed directly into a computer.  The computer then sent the call to the appropriate dispatcher by street zone and tract.  Each street in the city was divided into different response areas, just like the previous wards.  Once the computer identified which district a call was in by its zone and tract the computer would send that call to that dispatcher.  The dispatcher could then pull up the call, type the officers that were showing available for the call, and he or she would be assigned to the call.  The system allowed for an accurate and easier storing of call information. 

Present Intergraph CAD
On October 8, 2002, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department went live with a new computer-aided dispatch system – Intergraph Public Safety CAD.  The new system is a Windows NT based system that is mouse driven.  I/CAD will provide a larger variety of statistical information and supply the department as whole with a greater variety of tools to better serve the public and prevent the next crime. With this system, we were also provided AVL – automated vehicle locator, for the patrol cars. If is an officer is in need of assistance, the operator is able to pinpoint on fully interactive map, where the officer is.



Shot Spotter
In September of 2013 the department contracted with the ShotSpotter Company to implement their product in Charlotte. The ShotSpotter system uses a network of microphones to detect when a gun is fired and pinpoint the location. Within minutes officers are sent to a potential shooting scene, even if no one calls 911.