- Tell the dispatcher what the emergency is
- Wait for further instructions from the dispatcher
- Don't hang up until the dispatcher tells you to
What is an Emergency?
- Any serious medical problem (chest pain, seizure, bleeding)
- Any type of fire (business, car, building)
- Any life-threatening situations (fights, people with weapons, etc.)
What information will the dispatcher need?
- The location where assistance is needed
- Your name and phone number
- The nature of the emergency
- Descriptions of suspects, or additional information
- Where? - Where is this occurring?
- What? - What is happening?
- When? - Is this happening now?
- Who? - Who is the victim, suspect, etc.?
- Why? - Do you know why this is happening? i.e. depression?
- Weapons? - Are there any weapons involved
- Any distinguishing features
(glasses, facial hair, scars)
- Which way did the suspect leave?
- Were they running, or in a vehicle?
- Were they going north, south, east, or west?
- Body Style (2 door, station wagon, etc.)
- License number
What is considered suspicious activity?
Vehicles in neighborhood cruising slowly and you think twice about it.
People walking your neighborhood and you know they do not live there.
Alarms, screams, horn blowing, solicitors.
Call 246-9111 for non-emergency situations.
- Always listen to the Dispatcher.
- The questions they ask are for the safety of you, the public and the officers.
- Just because they are questioning you, does not mean help is not on the way.
- Information is entered into a computer & dispatched to the proper units.
- Remain on the line until told to hang up. The operator may need more information or to give you further instructions.
- Be familiar with your area. We can't help if you don't know where you are.
- NEVER intervene in a crime in progress.
What to do when you need help, but it's not an emergency.
- Dial 246-9111
- Tell the operator the problem
- The operator will ask you questions and tell you when to hang up
What are non-emergency calls?
- Property damage accidents ("Fender Benders")
- Break-in to a vehicle (when suspect is gone)
- Theft of property (when suspect is gone)
- Vandalism (when suspect is gone)
- Intoxicated persons who are not disorderly
- Cars blocking the street or alleys
Some DON'TS for 9-1-1:
Never program 9-1-1 into a memory location or "speed dial." It's the one number you'll probably never forget, but when this number is in memory, we get accidental calls from people pushing the wrong button.
Never make a "test" call to 9-1-1. These occupy our operators' time and tie up lines and equipment. The 9-1-1 network has been designed for high reliability, so it will work when you need it. False calls and test calls are a problem for us.
Never call 9-1-1 and just hang up . Our policy on "hang up" calls is to call back and attempt to verify if there is an emergency. If we cannot verify to our satisfaction that everything is all right, our policy is to send police officers to the indicated address.
This is to ensure that a person who is incapacitated can receive help without having to talk on the phone. Unfortunately, many "hang up" calls are false, and we have wasted police manpower and resources to respond to them.
False calls cost you money, and tie up police officers who are needed on other calls.
The communications division monitors false calls, and when a pattern of abuse has developed, we have taken legal action against the callers.
Cellular phones do not work the same way as regular phones.
If you dial 9-1-1 from a cellular phone , please remember:
Stay calm. We will not receive location or phone number information on a cellular call, and what you tell us is the only information we will have to determine how to respond.
Know where you are. We need location information from you, and we have to determine if you are within our police jurisdiction. If you are not, we will have to transfer the call.
Know your mobile number. We will ask for it, in case the call is disconnected, and we have to call you back for more information. (And, leave your phone "on" so we can call you back.)
Try to use the seven-digit number for the agency you are calling if your call is not extremely urgent (Remember, our number is 246-9111). Sometimes this can be faster than using 9-1-1, because you directly reach the agency you need, without a call having to be transferred)
It's a good idea to program the seven-digit numbers for all law enforcement agencies in your travel area in your phone, if it is equipped with a memory. (And remember, never program 9-1-1 into a memory location or "speed dial.")
This number should be used to request police assistance on less urgent matters. Usually, these will be property damage accidents, reports of various crimes where the perpetrator is gone, and the primary function of the police will be information gathering and investigation. Also, incidents in progress which are of a less serious nature, such as nuisance calls, etc. should go to this number.
The department has a policy of handling certain property crimes by taking a report over the phone. Our Teleserve unit provides this service, to allow uniformed officers more time for patrol and responding to urgent calls.
When you call the department to report a property crime (at 246-9111), the operator will screen your call to determine if it fits the criteria for a Teleserve report. If it does, you will be asked for enough information to let the Teleserve operator call you back, and take the report.