Dispatchers are the gateway to the criminal justice field. We are the first persons contacted in the event of an emergency. Many times we are multitasking and prioritizing calls. We would like for everyone to know how they can help our dispatch center help them in the event of an emergency.
WHEN CALLING 9-1-1
9-1-1 is a service meant for emergencies. It should be reserved for reporting situation where there is imminent danger, crimes in progress and other incidents deemed as emergencies such as traffic accidents, road hazards and fires.
Examples of some reasons to call 9-1-1
• someone is injured and needs help
• someone is hurting someone else or being hurt
• someone is trying to break into your house
• there is a fire or smoke
Examples of reasons NOT to call 9-1-1 (call the police NON emergency line or appropriate agency)
• your dog ran away
• your power went out
• you locked your keys in your vehicle
• when you need information (call 4-1-1)
What Happens When 9-1-1 is Called
• A central computer identifies the phone number and address the call is coming from, and sends it to the emergency agency serving the address
• The 911 operator answers and asks questions- including verification of the location- to determine needs and prioritize the call, then sends the emergency service
• Calls from cell phones are routed to CECOMS, the Cuyahoga County Emergency Communication System which connects callers to appropriate agencies.
(When using a CELL PHONE the address is not always identified by the computer. Be prepared to give the location of the EMERGENCY)
Reporting Emergencies to Police
Callers should remain calm and give information slowly. All calls, emergency or not, are answered by the same operators. Callers are asked to report:
• LOCATION of the incident
• Name, address and phone number
• Type of incident
• Whether the crime is in progress or has already happened and the time it happened, if known
• Details which may include: descriptions of any suspects, vehicle description, license plate numbers, direction of travel or other details, if weapons were involved, etc
Callers are asked to remain on the telephone to assist the dispatcher as much as possible. The more information given to the police, the better the emergency can be served. Safety is key and the caller and his/her family should stay out of harm’s way. After the incident is reported, it is a good idea for the caller to write down everything that happened, as they may be contacted for additional information.