Local Emergency Operations Center makes debut in 2020

There are many departments and organizations around Culver City that keep the cogs of the city moving on a daily basis, and then there are those whose work is sporadic and unknown, yet important to the city all the same.

2020 has been full of ‘firsts,’ and one in Culver City is the debut of one of the city’s lesser known departments, as the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the unrest around the death of George Floyd and the results of the 2020 election brought Culver City into unprecedented territory.

This has resulted in the first ever activation of the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) this year. The EOC serves as a command center for the City with the main goal of supporting effective life safety measures, reducing property loss and protecting the environment. 

The EOC may be activated as a result of a local, state or national emergency, and may also be activated due to a recent or potential emergency situation of such magnitude that would require a large commitment of resources from two or more City departments over an extended period of time.

At full capacity, the EOC consists of 33 city staff members — all specifically trained to deal in their roles at the EOC — and is led by Manuel Cid, who is also the current police chief at CCPD. 

The City’s EOC continues its remote activation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recently launched a parallel activation out of an abundance of caution in response to the 2020 election. 

The election EOC activation has been operating remotely since Oct. 31. Most recently, the EOC mobilized on Election Day to support public safety efforts at voting centers.

The EOC’s primary function is to coordinate resources and support an incident/disaster.  It provides a central location for information and decision making. 

The EOC doesn’t explicitly give tactical commands; those are directed by the first responders that are active in the field working an incident/disaster. However, it works to help coordiate the execution of these tasks by ensuring that responders have the tools that they need.

While the EOC was put together in the 1990’s, there have been no incidents that have required the center’s activation until 2020.

While there hasn’t been a need for it, the city’s EOC is also in close communications with other nearby areas, including Los Angeles County, in the event that a large scale coordinated effort would need to be made.

For more information, call the EOC hotline at 310-253-6890. Staff are available to answer your calls Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m.