WACO, Texas (FOX 44) — The non-emergency phone number for Waco Police Department is not changing but what you’ll hear on the other end is.
“This was just a change because our dispatchers, they not only answer 911 calls, they’re not only dispatching for our officers local volunteer fire departments, other cities in the county and sheriff’s office,” Waco Police PIO Cierra Shipley said. “They’re also answering that non-emergency number. “
If you call the Waco Police Department for non-emergency business, you will now hear an automated message giving you options of what department to speak to.
This has been put in place to not only combat the call load the dispatch center deals with daily but also to connect the caller with who they need to speak with.
“During the day business hours we get a lot of calls for: I made a copy of a police report or I need to follow up on my case, which is, you know, I’ve been assigned to a detective and then we’re routing those calls to the appropriate personnel within the department,” Susie Murray said, the Emergency Communications and 9-1-1 Manager.
Now thanks to this new system, the dispatch workers will no longer have to reroute calls.
For those calling who are unsure of what department they need to speak with, there is an option to speak with a dispatch worker and they will still be able to redirect you.
“It’s a great feeling,” Murray told FOX 44 News. “It brings a breath of fresh air because there’s just a few less calls that we have to take. The admin calls for Waco PD is roughly 50 percent of the call volume that we have.”
From January to June, the average daily call load is 985 calls. The department has not calculated for July yet.
The office is also hiring dispatch workers, as they have over ten spots available. With the new system, they are hoping it plus new hires will dramatically lower the amount of calls one worker will have to answer.
“More of our workstations that we have occupied with qualified people to take those calls,” Murray said. “The better the county and the city will be for us answering those calls, because that means we have less calls that are having to hold in, wait for someone to answer them.”
For more information on the dispatch job opportunities, click here.