Emergencies include crimes in progress or those crimes that are about to happen and situations that have resulted in serious injury or significant property damage or loss. Emergencies also include situations where the suspect may still be at the scene or some other suspicious activities.
By calling 9-1-1, you will be linked to the appropriate police agency, as well as emergency fire and medical services. You do not need money to call 9-1-1 from a payphone. Teach your children how to use 9-1-1.
Teaching Children to Use 9-1-1
Parents can use the following safety tips to teach their children the proper way
to use 9-1-1 to report emergencies:
- Never say "nine eleven." There is no eleven on a telephone keypad or dial. Always say "nine-one-one."
- Always call from a safe place. If there is a fire in the house, get out first and then call.
- Post your address near the phone.
- Never call 9-1-1 as a prank or joke. You can get into trouble and keep someone who really needs help from getting it in time.
- 9-1-1 is not for animal emergencies. Call your vet or the County Department of Animal Control at (916) 875-5232.
- Call 9-1-1 if you think you have an emergency and explain the situation to the dispatcher.
- If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, don't hang up. Explain the mistake to the dispatcher and say there is no emergency.
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line and advise the dispatcher. Whether you call 9-1-1 on purpose or by accident, the dispatcher will receive your caller information even if you terminate the call before the line is answered. The dispatcher will immediately call you back and inquire if an emergency exists. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will have an operator interrupt your call so that he/she may determine if there is an emergency at your residence or business. If the line is not answered when the dispatcher attempts to call, an officer will be dispatched to the address from which the call originated to “check the welfare" of the residence or business.
When you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone in Sacramento County, you will be connected with the California Highway Patrol. In order to reach the Rancho Cordova Police Department directly in an emergency, dial (916) 362-5111. Calls to this number are handled as if they were 9-1-1 calls.
Some examples of emergencies are:
- Shootings, stabbings, fights, sexual assaults, etc.
- Burglaries or robberies in progress or just occurred
- Domestic violence, in progress or just occurred
- Child or elder abuse, in progress or just occurred
- Sounds of gunshots, followed by screaming, barking dogs, breaking glass, explosions, alarms, etc...
- Hit and run accidents with possible injuries
- Vehicle accidents with injuries
- Vehicles containing weapons or property not normally kept in cars
- In progress dumping of fuel or other hazardous materials
- Road hazards that require immediate attention to prevent injuries or property damage
- Runaway juveniles or missing adults who are "at risk". Be sure to tell the dispatcher if the person needs medication, has Alzheimer's or a mental condition or is suicidal
Additionally, call 9-1-1 to report the following persons:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Entering a neighbor's home when the neighbor is away
- Forcing entry of a home, business or vehicle
- Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms that pose a danger to themselves or others
- Removing property from a business, home or vehicle, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
- Carrying or wearing bloody clothing
- Exhibiting a weapon
- Struggling with a resisting child
- Trying to force a person into a vehicle, especially a child or female.
The ability of police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the information submitted. When reporting both emergencies and non-emergencies, expect to be asked for the following information:
- Type of crime: who's doing what to whom?
- Location: where is this happening or did happen?
- Time of occurrence: is this happening now or is it over?
- Weapons used
- Number of people hurt and types of injuries
- Vehicles used: type, license plate, color, year, model, make, number of people in car, anything unusual (dents, stickers), which way did they go?
- Suspect information: race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, hair length and style, facial hair, clothing type and color, other identifying characteristics (tattoos, scars, missing teeth, glasses) and which way did they go?