Safety Communications

The City of Akron's Combined Communications Center was opened in November of 1996. It combined the Police dispatch center and the Fire dispatch center into a single operation which allowed for a more streamlined approach to handling calls from citizens. The Center is staffed with 62 dedicated safety technicians, supervisors and support staff who provide an essential service to the citizens of Akron. The Safety Techs, which include dispatchers, call takers and other support roles, work 10-hour shifts to provide 24/7 coverage to the citizens of Akron. The Director of the Combined Communications Center, Captain David Laughlin, is a graduate of Police Executive Leadership College and selected for the Leadership Akron Community Leadership Institute in 2016, along with serving as a board member for Keep Akron Beautiful. The assistant director is Lt. Gary Cole, who has a BS in Political Science and Associate's Degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Akron. 

Most of the combined Communications center technicians are cross trained to handle several disciplines. They are trained in call taking for emergency and non-emergency scenarios, LEADS operations which is the Law Enforcement Automated Data System, the services position, and Police, Fire and EMS dispatching. This allows for a well-rounded and experienced employee. The call takers handled around 385,000 calls last year. They ask pertinent questions and then assign it to the appropriate dispatcher. If the call is medical in nature the call takers have received specialized training and the types of questions they ask will give the first responders valuable information about the patient while still in route to the emergency. At the end of the questioning the call taker, if appropriate, can give the caller potentially lifesaving instructions until help arrives. Call takers can assist the caller with such things as CPR, Child Birth or a Choking victim just to name a few. The dispatcher will then coordinate the appropriate Police, Fire or EMS response.

When Should You Call 9-1-1

Nine-one-one is to be used ONLY in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police/sheriff, the fire department or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 9-1-1. It's better to be safe and let the 9-1-1 call taker determine if you need emergency assistance. 

Examples of When to Call 9-1-1:  Examples of When to NOT call 9-1-1: 
  • Medical Emergencies 
  • Heart attack or stroke 
  • House fire 
  • Domestic violence 
  • Burglary or theft in progress 
  • Car accident with life threatening injuries 
  • Anything else that seems like an emergency 
  • For information 
  • When the power is out 
  • To report a broken fire hydrant 
  • When your water pipes burst 
  • To get a ride for doctor's appt 
  • For paying tickets 
  • For your pet 
  • As a prank 

When Should You Call The Non-Emergency Number? 

Certain situations, though criminal in nature, may not require immediate attention, such as crimes where the suspects are gone and there are no injuries, vehicle complaints, neighborhood issues or civil matters. For these incidents please use our non-emergency numbers,330-375-2181 and 330-375-2101. These numbers are still answered by a call taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

Other Important Numbers 
  • 311: Your one call to City Hall. The City of Akron prides itself on being responsive to the citizens’ needs and our goal is to take action on your concerns. We want to get the right information to the right people, so we can take the right action to resolve your neighborhood concerns. The following are reasons you could dial 311; Animals running loose, dead animal removal on public property, high grass and weeds, property and housing issues, dumping, junk vehicles, potholes, traffic signs and signals, snow and ice, water service and other similar concerns. If you are outside of the City limits but need to call the Akron 311 center, dial 330-375-2311. 
  • Akron non-emergency numbers: 330-375-2181, 330-375-2101 
  • TTY Line for hearing impaired: 330-643-2221