About 9-1-1

When to use 9-1-1 vs. the Non-Emergency Number

911 should only be used for an emergency such as:

  • a crime in progress
  • a fire
  • situation requiring an ambulance

What is an emergency? 

  • Any serious medical problem such as chest pain, seizures and/or severe bleeding.
  • Any type of uncontrolled or unsupervised fire.
  • Any life-threatening or serious crime in progress

What are non-emergency calls?

  • Property-damage accidents (‘fender benders’.)
  • Vehicle break-ins (when suspect is gone)
  • Theft (when suspect is gone)
  • Vandalism (when suspect is gone)
  • Panhandlers
  • Intoxicated persons who are not disorderly
  • Parking violations

Helpful Hints:

  • Always listen to the dispatcher.
  • Do not hang up until they tell you to do so.
  • The questions they ask are for your safety and the safety of the public and the officers.
  • Just because they are asking questions does not mean that help is not already on the way.
  • Information is entered into a computer & dispatched to the proper units.
  • Set up a Safety Profile with Smart911 online at Smart911.com.

When calling 9-1-1, it is important that you remain on the line, even if you dial in error. If you dial in error and the call goes through and you didn’t stay on the line, the dispatcher is required to send police to the location from which the call came to confirm that no emergency exists.


The Non-emergency line is for situations that require police response, but that are non-life threatening (i.e., loud parties, a group of juveniles loitering in front of your home, neighbor disputes, etc.).  Non-emergency numbers and Hotlines are listed below.

General City Telephone Information
(512) 218-5400

Non-Emergency Information Line
(512) 218-5500

Abandoned Vehicles
(512) 218-5500

Animal Control
(512) 218-5500