January 12, 2024

City of Virginia Beach Launches New Watch Desk in 2024

Staff will monitor and react to emergencies, incidents and special events.

Virginia Beach Watch Desk

Starting in 2024, the City of Virginia Beach’s Emergency Communications and Citizen Services—in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Management—is launching a Watch Desk, where staff will monitor daily City operations for trending activities, special events, incidents or emergencies and determine the potential for local impact.

What is a Watch Desk?

The Watch Desk provides information to keep City departments and affected groups updated on situations. Affected groups that have a vested interest in the City’s activities and decisions include residents, City employees, Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services, Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office, City Manager’s Office and Virginia Beach City Public Schools. As the Watch Desk grows, state agencies such as Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia Department of Health could become collaborators.

The Watch Desk staff will work at the Emergency Operations Center, located in Building 30, and monitor and react to emergencies, incidents and special events.

Watch Desk Responsibilities

  • Provide daily briefings on daily City operations and status.
  • Monitor public safety radio channels—local and surrounding jurisdictions.
  • Monitor special events where an Emergency Operation Center is not needed.
  • Monitor weather events.
  • Use VBAlert to send accurate information to residents and visitors. Sign up to receive emergency text messages and notifications at eccs.virginiabeach.gov/vbalert. You also can text “VBALERT” to 67283.

The Watch Desk staff also will monitor trending activities that might affect City operations and communicate occasionally with the Police Department’s Real-Time Crime Center.

“Emergency Communications and Citizen Services is excited to work in collaboration with the Department of Emergency Management to bring the Watch Desk to the city,” Emergency Communications & Citizen Services Director Jada Lee said. “The Watch Desk is going to be a great addition to ECCS, EM, public safety and other city agencies when managing daily operations of the city as well as during special events. Notifications to our internal and external partners will be streamlined to ensure prompt and accurate communication.” 

ECCS provides efficient, accurate, professional processing of emergency, non-emergency, and information requests to residents and visitors to Virginia Beach 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit eccs.virginiabeach.gov for more information on VB911, VB311, and VBAlert.

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