Emergency Communications

The Communication Center (Dispatch)


Provide emergency and non-emergency call taking and dispatching services for the University community, to include police, fire and medical, safety and security, maintenance, and parking services. In a support role, our Communications Center will function as a backup to the Douglas County Emergency Communications Center that serves all residents of the county.

When to Call 911?

  1. POLICE - If you should see someone committing a crime or a person who is about to commit a crime, or a crime has already occurred.
  2. FIRE - On all actual fires, smell of smoke or gas, or if you should see smoke rising from an object that is on fire.
  3. MEDICAL - A person should need immediate medical attention.

What to do when you call 911?

  1. State what type of emergency that you have.
  2. Give the location of the emergency.
  3. Give the dispatcher your name.
  4. Give the dispatcher your phone number and what location you are calling from if it is different from the location of the emergency.
Non-Emergency Telephone Numbers If you have a non-emergency situation, you can call 864-5900. If you would like to report a crime anonymously, you can call KU CRIMESTOPPERS at 864-8888. You can remain anonymous in giving information that may lead to the arrest of a suspect(s) who have committed a crime.

What We Do in the Communications Center

  1. 911 Call Handling: When you call 9-1-1, the Dispatcher will answer "911, What is your emergency?" The name, addresses and phone number of the calling party will be displayed on a screen (ANI/ALI) for the dispatcher to confirm and verify. Call 911 for EMERGENCY SITUATIONS ONLY! If there is an immediate threat to life or property, such as a crime in progress, fire, or medical emergency, use 911. DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 for weather or road conditions, telephone numbers, directions to a location, or any other type of 'general information' that is better handled on a non-emergency number.
  2. Non-emergency Call Handling: The KU Public Safety Office maintains a non-emergency 7-digit phone number (864-5900) for routine requests and general information. This would include requests for copies of police reports, campus directions, lost and found, and other non-emergency related calls. This line is answered "KU Public Safety".

Emergency Services Dispatching

The Communications Center maintains radio and/or telephone contact with all Douglas County Emergency Services agencies to include: KU Police, Lawrence PD, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, and Lawrence-Douglas County Fire/Medical departments.

Non-Emergency Dispatching

Personnel working in the Communications Center also handle additional radio traffic for other University departments, to include: Facilities Operations, Parking Services, and the University-wide Security Network.

Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD)

Computer technology is vital in the functioning of our state of the art Center. Computer software is used to record calls for service from emergency services agencies, security, and other University Support Departments. This software allows for the dispatcher to be able to track and log all unit activity as it occurs.

Radio Systems

A multi-channel 800 MHz trunked radio system is presently being used in the Center. This type of system allows for multiple channel usage depending on special or tactical events, training, and basic operations, for all emergency service agencies. The Center also encompasses frequencies that are specific to the KU Campus only.

Recording System

All telephone lines and radio frequencies used in the Communications Center are digitally recorded on data cartridges. The cartridges presently record 7-14 days worth of information, depending on the level of activity and number of transmissions made by personnel. Through the telephone system, dispatchers also have the ability to immediately playback recordings if the need arises to clarify information that has been received.


The Public Safety Office Communications Unit provides alarm monitoring service for the University community through what is known as the "Communications Center." With state-of-the-art fiber optic and graphical display system, the Communications Center directly monitors fire alarm systems for University-owned or affiliated buildings.

Due to the technology available through this system, the Center can also monitor security systems in various buildings.

Alarms are prioritized as fallows:


  • Fire Alarms
  • Armed Robbery (locations that have a high cash flow/volume)
  • Bank (ATM Machines) alarms
  • Anti-Theft alarms


  • Call-In alarms to include doors and temperature controls at different campus locations.


During 2004, the Communication Center recorded 483 alarm activations consisting of fire, intrusion, armed robbery and anti-theft devices.

The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, retaliation, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies and is the University’s Title IX Coordinator: the Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access, IOA@ku.edu, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS, 66045, (785)864-6414, 711 TTY.