The Seattle Police 9-1-1 Center is the primary answering point for all police, fire, and medical emergencies and is intended to provide emergency response for any type of need so they can send help in case of a crime, a medical emergency, a fire or any other type of dangerous situation. Any calls for a fire or medical emergency are then transferred to the Fire Alarm Center and/or Emergency Medical Dispatch.
The 9-1-1 Center is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
It may seem as if the questions keep coming and nobody is sending help, but that’s not true. In fact, as the Dispatcher enters information into the computer (the clicking that can be heard in the background in every 911 recording) responders may be able to read it from their vehicles.
When to Use 9-1-1 Services
Call 9-1-1 when you see something suspicious, especially potentially dangerous situations. Don’t assume that your neighbors have already reported the crime or that the police already know what is going on. Always call 9-1-1 when there is a fire, medical or police emergency and assistance is required. If you are in doubt, call 9-1-1. We dispatch to the most critical calls first.
By reporting suspicious persons, cars, or circumstances, there is a better chance police will arrest the criminal or prevent the development of a serious crime. Eight out of ten suspects are caught by the Seattle police thanks to neighbors calling 911 and reporting suspicious activity. For more information, please visit the SPD Crime Prevention website.
How To Use 9-1-1 Services
Briefly state the nature of the call. “I want to report a ………”
Let the dispatcher ask the questions.
Be prepared with the address where help is needed.
Stay on the line until advised to hang up.
Initial Questions on a 9-1-1 Call
“Seattle Police and Fire, Operator #28”
“What is your emergency?”
“What is your exact location?”
“What phone number are you calling from?”
“Where did this occur?”
“Where is the suspect now?”
“How many people are at the scene, including children?”
“Does anyone need medical attention?”
“Does anyone have weapons—what type, whose, where last seen?”
Depending on the emergency, additional information the dispatcher may ask for:
What is the callers relationship to the parties?
If offender is at the scene, provide a description, i.e. height, weight, clothing.
If offender has fled, provide location, direction, mode of travel, and description of vehicle.
Presence of alcohol or drugs—what type?
Last time officers responded to this location and type of call.
Is there a protection order or temporary order on file?