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Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many officers are there on the Palm Springs Police Department?

We are currently authorized 93 sworn police officer positions, which includes the Chief, 2 Captains, 4 Lieutenants, 14 Sergeants, and 72 Officers . These personnel are assigned to Administration, Patrol, Investigations, Traffic, Airport, Bicycle Patrol, and other specialized details.

At any given time, there are generally some vacancies due to retirements, illnesses, injuries, or military deployments. We do our best to fill vacancies as quickly as possible, but the hiring process is very involved and thorough, so it often takes several months to fill a vacant position.

It would be impossible for the officers to do their jobs without our fine support staff, including our Dispatchers, Community Service Officers, Records Division, Crime Lab, Secretarial Staff, Transport Officers, Animal Control, Rangemaster, Crime Analyst, and Background Investigations Staff.

In addition, we are fortunate to have the services of our dedicated volunteers, including Reserve Officers, Search & Rescue Team, Citizens on Patrol, Explorers, Aero Squadron, Police Advisory Board, and the Volunteers In Policing (VIPs).

2. How big is the city of Palm Springs?

Geographically, the city of Palm Springs is spread out over almost 96 square miles. Our population is estimated at nearly 50,000 people year-round, but that figure doubles during the winter "snowbird" season. Palm Springs is known worldwide as a destination resort, so in addition to the residents, Palm Springs hosts approximately 2.5 million overnight visitors annually.

3. How do we form a Neighborhood Watch organization?

We have some great information on our website about how to get started with your own Neighborhood Watch. Our community policing officers will send you some free information and they are available to support you. Click HERE for more information from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

4. What phone number should I call if my concerns are not life-threatening or an emergency?

During normal business hours, you can call our main number, (760) 323-8116 and press the number 3 when you hear the voice prompt. This will connect you with the Records Division. After hours, you can dial (760) 327-1441. For more contact information including phone numbers and email addresses, click HERE.

5. What should I do when I see an abandoned vehicle in my neighborhood?

If the vehicle is on a city street, call the police department non-emergency number (see #4 above). If the vehicle is on someone's property, you can call City of Palm Springs Code Enforcement 24-hour complaint line at (760) 778-8434 or click HERE to file a Code Enforcement complaint online.

6. What should I do when I see injured or stray animals?

You can start with a call to Palm Springs Animal Control at (760) 323-8151. When the shelter is closed, call the police department non-emergency number (see #4 above).

7. What is the role of the Police Department in dealing with the homeless and less fortunate?

The Palm Springs Police Department has a full-time officer and a full-time civilian assistant assigned as Community Policing Officers. Homelessness is a complicated social issue, but these employees receive special training and develop a network of resources to assist them with homeless issues and with Crime-free Multi-housing.

Like the rest of the population, all homeless people are not alike. There are homeless people that commit crimes and prey on others. Our Community Policing Officers will make arrests as appropriate and deal with them as they would anyone else breaking the law. There are other homeless people that are law-abiding and just need a helping hand. Our Community Policing Officers are able to assist them with referrals to public and private social services that provide necessities such as shelter, food, and transportation.

You can contact our Community Police Officers directly by calling (760) 778-8421.

8. What should I do when I'm driving and see emergency lights from police cars, fire trucks, or ambulances?

According to California Vehicle Code section 21806, all surrounding traffic must yield. It reads in part, "...the driver of every other vehicle shall yield the right-of-way and shall immediately drive to the right-hand edge or curb of the highway, clear of any intersection, and thereupon shall stop and remain stopped until the authorized emergency vehicle has passed."

It's important not to make any abrupt turning or stopping movements. Be sure that you pull over and stop safely.

9. How do I file a police report?

For emergencies and in-progress crimes, call 9-1-1.

For your convenience, many police reports may be completed online. These include reports of: vandalism, vehicle tampering, theft, lost or stolen property, or harassing phone calls. Click HERE to file an online police report.

For other types of reports, you can phone our non-emergency number (760) 323-8116 or come in person to the police station located at 200 South Civic Drive. Click HERE for directions and more contact information.

10. Do you provide Live Scan fingerprinting?

We only provide Live Scan services for Palm Springs City applicants and Palm Springs City required permits.  For more information click HERE.

11. How can I get property released to me? 

Property is released Monday through Wednesday by appointment only.  Click HERE for more information.