9-1-1 is for emergencies only – fire, medical, or police emergencies – requiring an immediate response!
Be sure to give as much information as possible to the Emergency Operator and answer all of their questions. This will help us send the best response to your situation.
When to Call 9-1-1 (emergencies):
When lives are in danger, and immediate action is required, such as a burning building or vehicle, serious injury or medical condition (such as heavy bleeding, heart attack, etc.), or an in-progress serious crime (i.e. a shooting, rape, armed robbery, etc.) is occurring.
When there is a good chance of arresting an unknown crime suspect who may evade capture unless the police arrive quickly;
Or of preventing escalation to a serious crime situation by reporting suspicious persons, vehicles or circumstances;
Or when there is danger of violence or injury, or disturbances or actions which, if not controlled quickly, could lead to an emergency.
Be prepared to clearly give the following information in this order:
- Location of the incident (street address or nearest intersection)
- What is occurring (shooting, stabbing, fire, etc.)
- Who is involved (detailed information including names and descriptions)
Click here for more information on how to report a crime.
If the information you just read doesn’t apply to your incident, call the Non-Emergency Number: 333-COPS (2677)
When to Call 333-COPS (non-emergencies):
To report an incident to the Police Department that does not require the immediate dispatch of an officer to the scene, or when some time has elapsed since the occurrence of the incident, such as reporting a burglary, theft, criminal damaging, which has already occurred and the suspect is gone.
Other kinds of calls that are appropriate for this non-emergency number would include nuisance complaints such as noise, parking, etc.
Using the non-emergency number 333-2677 helps keep the 9-1-1 lines available for persons reporting real emergencies. Because keeping these lines available is of utmost importance to public safety, deliberate misuse of the 9-1-1 system is a crime which endangers lives.
Using the non-emergency number will not delay police response. All calls are prioritized according to a system which automatically assigns a high priority to emergencies and a lower priority to non-emergencies. The prioritizing system assigns numbers from a scale of 1-9. Emergency calls are assigned priorities 1-3. Calls which should be reported using the non-emergency number will be assigned a priority of 4-9.
Calls for service to the Police and Fire Departments are handled by civilian Emergency Operators who are trained and required to ask certain questions of each caller. Even if you don’t understand the reason a question is asked, be sure to answer the questions as clearly and completely as possible. If the operator asks you to repeat information, do so, because they wouldn’t be asking if they understood you the first time.
Speaking in a calm, clear manner will help you; yelling becomes distorted over phone lines and the operators will not be able to understand what you are saying. Do not argue with the operator – this may delay the response to your situation. Be assured that as you are speaking with the operator they are already notifying the police, fire or medics by computer. However, they continue to gather information and send it to the officers or fire fighters, so that they can formulate their response plan for your situation before they arrive.
If you have a compliment or complaint about the service you received from an Emergency Operator, give them all the information about your incident first, and when the operator tells you that they have everything they need, ask to speak to their supervisor.
If you determine you need a supervisor after you’ve already hung up DO NOT call 9-1-1 – even if you just used this line to report an emergency!! Instead call the non-emergency number, (937) 333-2677 (333-COPS), ask for the Dispatch Supervisor, and be prepared to give the operator some background information prior to having your call transferred.