In 2012 your police department responded to approximately 30,000 calls for service. While not all of these calls came through the 911 system, one of the most frequent questions we receive is, when do we call 911?
911 is nationally recognized and an easy to remember method of contacting law enforcement, fire and emergency services. 911 can be accessed from both landlines and mobile phones, however using a mobile phone can present challenges if you are in an unfamiliar area because exact location will not always show where the call is coming from.
Since the 911 system is for emergencies, it is common to wonder if making the call is the right thing to do. While emergencies are situations where law enforcement, firefighters or medical help is needed quickly, the 911 system is also used to summon law enforcement and firefighters for routine calls. These situations can vary from needing a vehicle unlocked, to following up on a case that was previously reported.
If you are unsure, call 911 and a call taker will talk you through the situation and gather the appropriate information. Knowing what to expect can make calling 911 go smoothly and get you the assistance needed.