Callers face long wait time on Metro’s non-emergency line


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) – Confusion with the Metro Nashville non-emergency line has many people facing long wait times with emergency communication crews looking for a solution to keep people safe.

It’s an issue dozens of people said they’re constantly running into.

When you call the non-emergency line – 615-862-8600 – you’re waiting more than 30 minutes, and in some cases, over an hour to speak to someone.

Emergency communication crews said it’s an issue they are trying to fix.

Hundreds of calls come through the Emergency Communications Center each day. Some come in through the 911 line and others through the non-emergency line. Emergency Communications Director Stephen Martini said that’s where they are running into issues.

“There are long answering times or long wait times associated with the 8600 number,” Martini said.

What’s causing the delay?

“We get phone calls from people reporting a traffic light that is out in an intersection, and even though that is a concern, it’s not time sensitive and life safety,” Martini said.

He said many people are unknowingly clogging up the non-emergency lines with issues that could be addressed online and creating long wait times. However, the confusion doesn’t stop there.

“The concerns that have been raised are I saw two people fist-fighting in a yard, and I called the 8600 number and it took a long time to get an answer or I saw a woman being pushed out of a car that was moving and I call 8600 and it took a long time to answer,” Martini said.

All issues Martini said should have been to the 911 line instead. He said people are confused as to which number they should call.

WSMV asked him to clear things up.

“Things that could escalate and are life safety concerns that the waiting is important, then we call 911,” Martini said.

Issues that are not as time sensitive can go to the non-emergency number or be reported online.

“We are encouraging people to use hub Nashville, the smart phone app, or the website to report this ‘somebody needs to look at it and action still needs to be taken, but I don’t need to call 911 right now for it,” Martini said.

Creating less calls to the non-emergency line, but there’s also another issue – short-staffing.

“We are looking for 40 new team members right now to add to our mix to help combat that problem,” Martini said.

If more people understood which resource to turn to, and call center positions fill up, Martini said the wait times would drop.

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