Communications (911)

The Public Safety Communications Bureau is comprised of highly trained and caring people who provide quality service. They support citizens, officers and firefighters by demonstrating compassion, a desire to serve, professional conduct, and comprehensive knowledge and ability. Their job requires the mental toughness and courage to face challenging situations. While others are in distress, they must suspend their emotions in order to be successful. To the dispatcher, being successful means saving lives or helping apprehend a criminal.

What is 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is the universal telephone number designed for emergency situations. Calling 9-1-1 is free from any phone and is the fastest way to get help in an emergency.  It connects those in need with emergency services such as police, fire or emergency medical services when they need it most. 9-1-1 is answered by highly trained and dedicated personnel who send the appropriate help to emergency situations. For most people, calling 911 is not an everyday event and may prove frightening in an emergency situation. Try to stay calm and answer the dispatcher’s questions.

When should you use 9-1-1?

9-1-1 should only be used in emergency situations that require immediate response from police, fire or medical units. If you are ever in doubt, call 9-1-1 and the dispatcher will determine if your call should be handled on 9-1-1.

9-1-1 is never ignored. If you dial 911 by mistake, Do Not Hang Up! Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that it was dialed in error. If you do hang up, they will call you back and an officer may be sent to check for an emergency.

Prank 9-1-1 calls are dangerous and can waste time for others that need assistance. If 9-1-1 lines or responders are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency might not get the help they need. It is also against the law to prank call 9-1-1.

Do not allow your children to play with home phones or cell phones as many of them dial 911 accidentally.

How to call 9-1-1:

  • Dial 9-1-1 from any phone (push button, rotary, cellular, cordless, computer, pay phone or device enabled to make telephone calls).
  • Try to stay calm and speak clearly.
  • When the dispatcher answers state your emergency (why you need help) and the address/location you need help at. Remember to give apartment/room numbers or specific locations such as front/back of business, side of a park or ramada number nearby, aisle number in a store, etc. 9-1-1 calls often provide some location information but it must be verified by the dispatcher.
  • Answer all of the questions asked by the dispatcher.  It may feel like he/she is asking a lot of questions but don’t be alarmed, this will NOT delay the emergency response.  Instead, it will help determine the appropriate response to emergency. 
  • Stay on the phone, if it is safe to do so. If you are not safe, let the dispatcher know.
  • Follow instructions. If the dispatcher provides you with specific instructions before help arrives, you should follow them as best as you can.

Spanish or other foreign language callers are accommodated via the use of an interpreting service 24 hours a day.

Hearing/speech impaired callers are accommodated via the use of TTY/TDD devices.