Long Beach, CA – The City of Long Beach 9-1-1 Communications Center, which dispatches emergency services to the City’s residents, is implementing a non-emergency phone tree on May 5, 2022. The non-emergency phone tree, available by calling 562.435.6711, will connect callers directly to a pre-recorded list of commonly requested non-emergency City services, providing dispatchers with additional time to assist residents requiring immediate police, fire or emergency medical services.The phone tree will alleviate the inundation of non-emergency calls to dispatchers, while providing non-emergency callers with a more streamlined experience to access services.
“Residents are reminded to always dial 9-1-1 if they are experiencing or witnessing a crime or emergency,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Our 9-1-1 dispatchers are highly trained to handle emergency calls. The phone line will help connect residents to city services while allowing our dispatchers to better assist those who are in need of an emergency response.”
Currently, all calls to 9-1-1 and the non-emergency line are answered by the City’s dispatchers. In recent years, dispatchers have received a consistently increasing number of non-emergency calls, far exceeding 9-1-1 emergency calls for service. In calendar year 2021, nearly 60% of calls received by the 9-1-1 dispatchers were for non-emergency services (see chart below).
Once the phone tree is activated, residents who call the non-emergency line will have five service areas to select from:
After callers make their menu selection, they will be connected to the service requested or will have the opportunity to leave a voice message. If none of the above options apply to the caller, or if the caller does not select an option, the caller will be connected directly to a 9-1-1 dispatcher. Callers will have the option of accessing these services in English, Spanish, Tagalog and Khmer.
“The non-emergency phone tree is a win-win for everyone,” said Reggie Harrison, Director of the Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications Department. “It will reduce the high volume of non-emergency calls answered by dispatchers, allowing them to more efficiently assist residents with urgent needs, and will provide non-emergency callers with quicker access to the resources they need.”
A regional and statewide survey found that most large city 9-1-1 emergency centers actively utilize a non-emergency phone tree. Public Safety Communication Centers, including the Cities of Los Angeles, Anaheim, Torrance and San Diego and both Los Angeles County and Orange County Sheriff’s Offices, have historically used such technology.
Residents are reminded to always dial 9-1-1 if they are experiencing or witnessing a crime or emergency.
Additional information regarding the non-emergency phone tree is available in the 9-1-1 Emergency Phone Tree Memo. More information about the Department of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications is available on their webpage.