Palm Desert is a city in Riverside County, California, United States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles. The population was 48,445 at the 2010 census, up from 41,155 at the 2000 census. The city was one of the state’s fastest growing in the 1980s and 1990s, beginning with 11,801 residents in 1980, doubling to 23,650 in 1990, 35,000 in 1995, and nearly double its 1990 population by 2000.
A major center of growth in the Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for “snowbirds” from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter. In the past couple of years Palm Desert has seen more residents become “full-timers”, mainly from the coasts and urban centers of California, who have come for both affordable and high-valued home prices.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has one of its stations located in Palm Desert. That station provides police services to the municipalities of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells.
The City of Palm Desert contracts for fire protection and emergency medical services with the Riverside County Fire Department through a cooperative agreement with CAL FIRE (California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection). Palm Desert currently has three fire stations, which are Station 33, (Town Center), Station 67 (Mesa View), and Station 71 (North Palm Desert). Each fire station provides an engine company and a paramedic ambulance. Fire station 33 also has a truck company.