- Kids & Teens
When to Call 911 for Police
Calling 911 is appropriate when:
- Someone is hurt and needs help
- Someone is hurting someone else
- There is smoke or fire
- Someone is taking something which is not theirs
What Happens When 911 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 “911 what is your Emergency: Police, Fire, or EMS?” and stays on the line until the department answers
- The operator 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 the Cuyahoga County Emergency Communication System which connects callers to appropriate agencies
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:
- 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: type of weapon, descriptions of suspects, license plate numbers, direction of travel or other details
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.
Other Police Contact Numbers
The police non-emergency number is 216.621.1234 and should be called for situations where police are needed but there is no immediate danger, and for asking questions about police or safety issues.
The police Administration number is 216.623.5000 (Weekdays 6:30 am to 10:30 pm) and should be called for administrative purposes, general information, and for directions to a specific unit.