What Happens When I Call Police Dispatch? 


When you call the Fresno Police Non-Emergency line at 559-621-7000 or 9-1-1 during an emergency, you speak with one of a handful of dispatchers for the Fresno Police Department tasked with the enormous and underrated job of answering almost one million calls for service per year in the City of Fresno. Our emergency services dispatchers, who were added to the ranks of First Responders on September 11, 2020, under Assembly Bill 1945, were officially recognized by the State of California with this distinction. These dispatchers are broken up into groups with specific duties of receiving and relaying information to the appropriate parties. 


When you make a non-emergency call for an issue, your issue is given a call priority based on the situation and several variables. Zero priority is reserved for emergencies with immediate need such as a threat to life or a crime in progress. 


The next stage is a one-priority, meaning it is not an immediate emergency, however it is a high-priority call. These calls are responded to after all zero-priority calls have been handled. Your situation might be the worst thing that has happened to you and will be handled as soon as possible. However, it may not fit the one or zero-priority criteria at the time of your call. 


For instance, if someone broke your car window and took something but has already left the scene and there is no immediate danger, this may be a two priority


Do not be deterred from calling because you feel that it will take too long or not be handled. You can guarantee that the problem will surely not be handled if you never call. The Fresno Police Department relies on citizens to report crime in their neighborhoods, and we all must work together to make Fresno safer! 


Why Does it Take So Long for Dispatch to Answer? 

The current dispatch team is short approximately fifteen positions and despite their valiant efforts, the team works from a relatively small room in the basement of Police headquarters. The good news is the city is hiring more dispatchers and they were recently approved to receive higher pay. In addition, a new state-of-the-art dispatch center is in the works. 


What if I Call From My Cell Phone?

A few years ago, calling from your cell phone would have connected you with CHP (California Highway Patrol) but now the technology has adapted to work differently based on your location. If you do happen to get connected to CHP, they are able to quickly transfer you to a Fresno PD dispatcher if needed.


“Fresno PD communications center personnel strive to serve the citizens of Fresno daily with a professional and caring demeanor, as they process on average over 950,000 incoming emergency and non-emergency calls per year. Our Emergency Services Dispatchers work tirelessly to ensure the safety of the citizens and officers they serve in the City of Fresno, as the unseen First Responders at the Fresno Police Department.” – Lt. Larry Bowlan