Frequently Asked Questions
When should I call 9-1-1?
- Any medical emergency
- In-progress or just-occurred crimes
- Any crime involving weapons (guns, knives, clubs, etc)
- Domestic violence, in-progress or threatened
- Any vehicle accident involving injuries
- Anytime a suspect is still in or near the area
- Fire of any kind
If you are calling to report a crime that has already occurred at some time in the past, or to ask a question, please call the non-emergency number: 402-441-6000. This direct number to the dispatch center is available 24 hours a day to handle calls for Police, Fire and Sheriff. Some examples of times when it is appropriate to use the non-emergency number are:
- Past auto theft
- Past damage of property
- Past theft of property
- Noise problems (parties, music, etc.)
For general information or questions about 911 and the Lincoln Emergency Communication Center, you can call 402-441-6000.
What happens when I call 9-1-1?
To help dispatchers prioritize your call and to provide the responding officers with the information they need, everyone is asked a standard set of questions. Your dispatcher will need to know:
- Location of the problem
Even though your telephone number and address should be shown on the dispatcher's console, we will want to confirm that the address is correct. Also, you may be calling from a location that is different from the address where you are calling. Be sure to give your telephone number and extension to the dispatcher.
- Type of problem
The dispatcher will need to know if you are reporting an emergency or something that is not an emergency. You will be asked for a basic description of what occurred and, if applicable, When the incident happened.
- All available information
Do not leave out information because you don't think that it is important. The more we know about an incident, the more effective we can be in helping you.
- A description of the suspect, including clothing
- Whether a weapon was involved and, if so, what type
- A description and direction of travel of vehicle if one was involved
- Medical emergencies
After initial information has been obtained, we ask that you stay on the line for medial instructions after the responders have been dispatched. During the call the dispatcher will ask for information about the patient that is helpful to the paramedics. In many cases, the dispatcher can give you information on how to help the patient until responders arrive.
Tips to remember
If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP! Tell the dispatcher that you called by mistake and that you do not have an emergency. Any time a dispatcher receives a 911 "hang up", the caller must be contacted to be sure that no actual emergency exists. This may require that an officer be needlessly dispatched to your home or office to ensure the well being of all persons there.
When calling from a cellular phone or remote location, be aware of mile markers, streets and cross streets, so we can better pinpoint where the emergency is.