CBS47 Investigates: Fresno Police non-emergency phone number, long wait times

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If you’ve ever called the Fresno Police Department’s non-emergency number, which is 559-621-7000, you may have waited for an operator.

A Fresno woman says she waited for someone to pick up for more than an hour.

She finally gave up and then vented her frustration on Facebook.

Christy Lynn Orozco says, “I understand budget problems but an hour and half is just too long.”

Orozco lives in the Tower District in Fresno.

An eclectic area of the city, that has seen its share of crime.

Orozco says she doesn’t want to tie up 9-1-1 dispatchers with non-emergency calls, so she uses the 559-621-7000 number.

But she says no one answers.

She says, “it’s frustrating and since it takes so long sometimes, I’m not placing the blame on anyone, but this is an issue in our community and if it affecting me. I know it’s affecting a lot of other people too.”

CBS47 put it to the test.

We called and after nearly 7 minutes an operator finally answered.

Fresno Police Capt. Donald Gross says, “We will answer that call it can just take a considerable amount of time. But it also depends on the time of day and depending on what’s going on.”

Depending on what’s going on, because the same people who answer the non-emergency calls are also 9-1-1 dispatchers.

Fresno police say a computer determines whether a call is an emergency or not, and all emergency calls get answered first.

Capt. Gross says, “So as soon they disconnect from the previous caller, the computer then chosen the next 911 call based on how long it’s been holding and that goes to the next available call takers.”

Statistics provided to CBS47 show last week alone, Fresno PD had nearly 8,000 emergency calls and some 11,000 non-emergency calls.

The bulk of them were answered in 2 minutes, but nearly 40 percent took longer.

Police say if you call the non-emergency number, wait, don’t hang up, because you will only get pushed to the back of the line.

So what’s the solution?

Fresno police say a lot of information can be found on it’s website.

The public can also call the city’s 3-1-1 call center for information, like reporting graffiti and illegal fireworks.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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