Frequently Asked Questions

In order to correctly assess the situation for a prioritized response, you will be asked certain questions which are vital to the safety of the caller and the responding Police, Fire or EMS units.

The Location
When you call 911, the Telecommunicator is automatically provided with the phone number and the location from which you are calling. You will be asked to verify this information since quite often individuals call 911 from locations other than where the incident is occurring. If you call 911 from a cell phone, this vital information is not provided. It is very important that you provide the phone number and location to the Telecommunicator when using a cell phone.

The Problem
The Telecommunicator will ask if your emergency is related to Police, Fire/Rescue. At this point, you should give a quick description of what occurred. Then you will be asked a series of questions which are extremely important to the proper handling of the call. These may include:

  • Is anyone injured?
  • How long ago did the incident occur?
  • Were there weapons involved and if so, which direction?
  • Did the suspect flee, and if so, which direction?
  • What was the mode of transportation, a car, bike or on foot?
  • If a vehicle was involved, what was the description and what was the direction of travel?
  • What was the physical description of the suspect?
  • What was the clothing description?

Although these may seem like an unreasonable number of questions during an emergency, they are very important to emergency personnel. For example, if a burglary has just occurred and the suspect flees, the officers will have a much better chance of apprehending the suspect if they have a good description of the suspect and the direction that was taken. More important, if the incident in question involved a weapon, the life of the Officer may depend on the information given.

One common misconception of Public Safety Communications is that Telecommunicators wait until finishing the call before sending help. During a true emergency, the Telecommunicators work as a team. One remains on the line with the caller and passes on information to another Telecommunicator, who dispatches Police Officer, Firefighters or other emergency personnel.

It is very important that you stay on the line during a call to 911 unless your life is threatened by doing so. The Telecommunicator will continue to ask you questions while the Emergency Units are en route.

If you have a need that is not an emergency, but would still like to speak to an Officer, or have an Officer visit a specific location, you may call the non-emergency number at (770) 957-9121. If you have a tip on drug activity, you may call the Drug Tip Hotline at (770) 288-6272. If you have a tip on gang activity, you may call the CAGE Hotline at (770) 288-8305.