Call for service

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Calls for service generally refers to assignments that are typically distributed to public safety professionals that require their presence to resolve, correct or assist a particular situation. The calls are generally initiated by the public and relayed through the emergency telephone service (such as 9-1-1 in America, 999 in the UK, 000 in Australia and 112 across Europe, or similar) and divulged to the public safety personnel via a dispatcher by way of radio or some other telecommunication device. Generally, calls for service relate to the fields of the police, fire department and emergency medical services.

As it pertains to police work, when the call for service is broadcast over the radio, it is assigned to an officer who patrols the specific sector or beat within which the call for service originates. Once assigned, the officer must respond and issue some type of finality back to the dispatcher indicating the action taken in order to essentially 'finish' that particular call and prepare the patrol shift for the next call. Multiple calls for service may be assigned at once to several patrol beats and, depending on the severity or urgency of the call, multiple calls may be assigned to one individual officer or pair of officers.

One form of nomenclature for calls for service is a 'job', as commonly used in the New York City Police Department. To be assigned a 'job' is to be assigned with the task of resolving a call for service.