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Police Department

Darren Dachisen, Chief of Police
(973) 593-3000
(973) 593-3024
62 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Police Communications


Police Communications

The Communications Division of the Madison Police Department is a 24 hour / 7 day a week operation that serves as the central answering point for all 9-1-1 and non-emergency calls for service requests from the residents and visitors in the Borough of Madison.  Non-emergency and routine calls are received on the regular ten digit line, (973) 593-3000. Emergency calls should always be placed to 9-1-1 so that they are received in on the e nhanced 9-1-1 system. When these calls are received, the caller's name, address and phone number are displayed on a screen.

Communications is one of the most important services within the Police Department.  The Communications Officer is responsible for maintaining the essential information link between the public, the police officers and other responders in the field.

9-1-1 calls placed on a cell phone are routed to the nearest central answering point where the communications tower the cell phone is utilizing is located.  In most cases the 9-1-1 cell call is routed to the correct agency, however there can be instances where a neighboring agency (Florham Park, the Chathams, Morris Township, Summit, Harding Township, Millburn) may receive the initial call even if the emergency is occurring in Madison.  Likewise, the Madison communications desk receives numerous calls for other agencies as well. It is essential to first establish where the emergency you are reporting is taking place.

In early 2009 the Madison has initiated a new graphical interface to the 9-1-1 system. The new mapping software shows a 9-1-1 callers address on a map at police headquarters so that immediate location information can be given to Police/Fire/EMS personnel in the field.  Once the call is received, the caller’s location is populated on one of two 42” inch monitors LCD displays in the communications room.  Each patrol car is equipped with GPS, enabling the communications officer to quickly determine the closest patrol unit to the incident.

The map also displays the 500 fire hydrants located in Madison making this information valuable to the Fire Department.  A map (42” LCD Monitor) is also located at the firehouse.  The communications officer populates the address to this map when a fire call is received.

This system has proved very helpful in getting the correct response agency to the individuals in need of assistance.

Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) is medical direction you receive over the phone when reporting a medical emergency.  In the late 90s New Jersey mandated that all 9-1-1 callers receive medical direction when a call is placed for medical assistance. (NJ State 911 Commission, N.J.S.A 52:17C et seq. & N.J.A.C 17.25).  In Madison the communications desk is solely staffed, making this an impossible task.  Madison contracts with CenCom located at Overlook Hospital in Summit NJ to provide emergency medical dispatch.  When a call is placed reporting a medical emergency the communications officer will:

  • Confirm the location of the emergency
  • Determine the nature of the emergency or illness/injury.
  • Advise the caller “stay on the line while I connect you to a medical dispatcher”
  • Dispatch the appropriate Madison Emergency Units.

(The CenCom operator will be providing the EMD simultaneously)

9-1-1 History

  • The first 9-1-1 call was made on February 16, 1968 in Haleyville, Alabama.
  • In 1972 Atlantic City was the first city in the state to implement the 9-1-1 system.
  • In 1977 Hunterdon County, NJ was the first county in the Nation to have a countywide 9-1-1 system.
  • In 1989 New Jersey passed law (P.L.1989, c3 N.J.S.A. 52:17c-1) requiring the implementation of a statewide enhanced 9-1-1 system.  It was not completed until 1995.  NJ was the 1st state in the Nation to have a statewide system.
  • Hanover Township was the first Morris County municipality to implement 9-1-1.
  • In 1992 Madison PSAP 609 was opened .
    • In 2009 the Madison Communications Desk answered 5,396 9-1-1 calls

When dialing 9-1-1 or reporting an emergency on (973) 593-3000 please remember the following:

  • A false "9-1-1" call is a violation of the New Jersey Criminal Code, 2C:33-3
  • 9-1-1 is for emergencies only, however if 9-1-1 is dialed on error stay on the line and advise the communications officer of the misdial.
  • Always confirm with the communications officer the specific address of the call.  The call may not be in the same proximity of the caller.
    • Advise the communications officer the nature of the call. 
    • If the call is for medical assistance, do not hang up with the communications officer.  Stay on the line, you will be transferred by the Communications Officer to the emergency medical dispatcher, who will provide pre-arrival medical assistance over the telephone prior to arrival of the first emergency units.
    • If the call is for a police emergency, remember to be a good witness.  Do not be confrontational with robbers or thieves.  Get a good description of the actor/actors, a clothing description, a vehicle description, and a direction of travel.
    • If the call is for a house fire, advise the communications officer the location and extent of the fire i.e.: “There is a fire on the third floor, apartment 3-G”. Advise the communications officer if everyone has exited the structure or if there still is anyone inside.  Pertinent information will be forward to fire units. 
    • No matter what the emergency, try to remain calm and talk slow to the communications officer. The Madison Communications desk is responsible for maintaining the Emergency Management Program within the Borough, involving all hazardous materials and response to natural disasters.
    • After 4:00 p.m. and on weekends, the police communication desk handles all calls for emergency assistance in the Borough, including Water, Electric, Sewer