calling 9-1-1 to report crimeUnderstanding Seattle's 9-1-1 Emergency System

We use lots of strategies at SNG to bring neighbors together in addressing crime and safety challenges in Seattle neighborhoods. A reliable and effective tool we promote is the Emergency 9-1-1 System. It is the front line of defense in crime prevention!

The emergency 9-1-1 system is often your first , and best tool when you and your neighbors work on public safety problems in your neighborhoods. When you use the 9-1-1 system when you see crimes occur, or to report suspicious activity, it can be helpful to understand a little bit about how it works.

  • Many calls come into the 9-1-1 call center at once, and operators are expert at assessing the severity of each call to determine how to use the resources at hand in the best way.
  • 9-1-1 operators don't have time to chat - be clear, and concise if you can. The operators may seem brusque, or rude, but they really need specific information, and they need it quickly in order to help you.
  • Officers respond to calls based on how severe they are. Sometimes when you report a crime like drug dealing, the response may seem slow. It is probably because officers are dealing with situations that present more danger to the victims. Officers deal with many assaults, domestic violence, and other violent incidents every day.
  • Call 9-1-1 for crime whenever you see it. Even if you don't think a response is likely, it is important to report crime. The police will never know there is a problem if you don't call it in.
  • Encourage your neighbors to call when they see crimes happening. This helps everyone learn how to look out for each other. If your neighbors speak a language other than English, visit our 9‑1‑1 in translation page for instructions in other languages. Feel free to download, print, and share these instructions with your neighbors!calling 9-1-1 to report crime

Visit the Seattle Police Department 9‑1‑1 webpage for more information about the Seattle Emergency 9‑1‑1 system.

If you know of a group of people who would benefit from a training on using the 9‑1‑1 Basics or 9‑1‑1 Interpretation Services, our Crime Prevention Education Team presents effective training modules on calling 9‑1‑1 for the Seattle community, immigrants, seniors, and low income housing residents. Contact us via email or at (206) 323-9666.

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