Proper 911 Call Etiquete

911 is an incredibly abused system, so it is very important that callers understand some basics:

911 is for reporting EMERGENCIES; where an emergency is defined as an IMMEDIATE threat to life/health/or property. For situations which do not fit those criteria, please dial 970-668-8600.

A large percentage of 911 calls are accidental, especially from cell phones. If you dial 911 by accident, DO NOT hang up! We are REQUIRED to callback EVERY 911 "hang-up" that we receive, to determine if in fact there is an emergency. If, when we call back, no one answers and there is an address associated with the number, a police response will be sent to determine if in fact there is an emergency. Please understand that when you call from your cell phone, no address information is automatically provided to the Dispatcher.

So again, if you dial 911 by accident, DO NOT hang up! When the Dispatcher answers, advise the dispatcher that you misdialed and be prepared to confirm your phone number and location. By staying on the line and advising us that you misdialed, it saves us precious time calling your number back, whether at your home, a business, a hotel, or a cell phone.

How to prevent false dialing

Examples of Proper 911 Usage:

  • Reporting any situation that requires a police officer at the scene (e.g. assaults, traffic accident, burglary report, damage to property, parking complaint, other ordinance violations, etc.)
  • Summoning an ambulance for medical assistance.
  • Reporting fire, smoke or fire alarm.
  • Reporting a crime in progress.
  • Reporting suspicious or criminal activity. (shouts for help, glass breaking, vehicle or person that does not appear to belong in neighborhood).

Examples of Improper 911 Usage:

  • Informational requests. (e.g. local event information, status of persons under arrest, impounded vehicle questions, ordinance or law questions).

When to use non emergency #'s:

  • Ask for information regarding the status of a report or investigation.
  • Ask for information regarding a city ordinance.
  • Talk with a specific officer or employee of the department.
  • Information regarding a person who is under arrest.
  • Inquire about impounded vehicles or animals.
  • Request a copy of a police report.

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