Frequently Asked Questions
When To Call 9-1-1
9-1-1 is for emergency calls only. Emergencies include:
- Crimes that have resulted in serious personal injury
- Crimes that are in progress
- Crimes in which a suspect may still be on scene
- Medical Emergencies
- Reporting a Fire
What To Do When Calling 9-1-1
The most important thing to remember when calling 9-1-1- is DO NOT HANG UP! Hang-ups require telelcommunicators to attempt to call back the caller, which wastes valuable time in a true emergency. Hang-ups delay a telecommunicator’s response to others in need. If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line and tell the telecommunicator the call was a mistake. Do not hang up.
Stay calm and speak clearly into the phone. Give the telecommunicator as much of the information below as necessary for the given situation.
Specify the Emergency:
Police, Fire or Medic
Location of Incident:
Be as specific as possible. Look for street names, addresses or the closest business to your location.
It is very important to verify your phone number. This ensures that the telecommunicator has the correct number should for whatever reason the telecommunicator need to you call back.
Description of the Emergency:
Tell the telecommunicator exactly what has happened and describe how many people are involved. Provide as many descriptions as you can and be as specific as possible.
ADVISE IF ANY WEAPONS ARE INVOLVED
This is VERY IMPORTANT to ensure the safety of the officers and other possible victims or bystanders at the scene.
Obstacles or Conditions:
Advise of any adverse conditions that would prevent law enforcement or any other emergency personnel from rendering services, i.e. address of location not properly displayed, vehicles blocking the roadway, vicious dog on premise, etc.
Keep the information factual:
The information provided to the telecommunicator should be based on fact and not opinion. Do not over or under exaggerate the situation.
Listen to the telecommunicator and follow their instructions. They will often ask you to repeat information for accuracy. Remember that they are here to help you!
Non-English Speaking Citizens
The Communications Division is able to process both emergency and non-emergency calls for service through the help of Language Line Services. They provide over-the-phone interpretation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Translation services are available for over 150 languages. The telecommunicator will conference your call to the Language Line operator. Your language will be identified and on average you will be connected with an interpreter. Do not hang up until the interpreter advises you that it is okay.
Tenemos intérpretes a su disposición
Si necesita que le atiendan en español por favor diga “Spanish” y le conectaremos con un intérprete. Por favor manténgase en la línea.