9-1-1 should be used only when you are reporting a crime in progress or an emergency (threatening life or property) that demands immediate attention. Examples are medical emergencies, in progress fights, domestic violence, fire, etc...
What questions will the 9-1-1 operator ask?
The main questions to be prepared to answer when calling 9-1-1 are:
What is the address of the emergency?
What kind of emergency are you reporting?
Is this occurring now? If not, when did it occur?
Is anyone injured? Does anyone need medical attention?
Are there any weapons involved?
Who is involved? Be prepared to give descriptions
What happens if I accidentally call 9-1-1?
If you mistakenly call 911, please do not hang up before the operator answers. The call is still entered into our system and the dispatcher is required to call back and or send help for the call. The time spent calling people back who have inadvertently dialed 911 takes time away from those who need emergency help.
Can I make a report online?
The Walnut Creek Police Department offers online reporting for a variety of types of calls that are NOT in-progress. You can submit an online report for the listed types of calls as long as there is no suspect description and there is no immediate danger to persons or property. Please follow the link to the online crime reporting page to see if you can make your report online.
How long will it take for officers to respond?
Dispatchers are not able to give exact times for officer response as we dispatch based on priority. We cannot account for any emergency calls that may come in and delay response to other pending calls. Dispatch does our best to send officers as soon as one is available.
Why were officers diverted while responding to my call?
Sometimes officers need to be diverted from lower priority calls to respond to higher priority emergencies. This helps to ensure the safety of our citizens and officers, but may increase response times for low priority calls.
How are police calls processed?
When you call for assistance, for both emergency and non-emergency situations, the dispatcher enters the incident into our Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD). The dispatcher will verify the address of the incident, type in a short summary of what is happening and assign a priority to the call. These CAD events are used for tracking purposes and documenting the events of the call.
I live in Walnut Creek, why am I being referred to the Sheriff's Department?
There are many areas in and around Walnut Creek that are unincorporated; if you live in these areas, the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department provides police services for your area. If you are reporting a crime in an area that is not Walnut Creek PD's jurisdiction, you will be referred to the appropriate agency
What issues can arise with cell phones and 911?
Cell phones can be an important and useful tool for public safety and emergencies, but they also create a unique challenge for emergency response personnel. The exact location of a caller who dials 9-1-1 from a cell phone cannot be determined; therefore, it is essential that you stay on the line and clearly give your location to the 9-1-1 Operator.
What issues can arise with VOIP and 911?
VOIP service has it's advantages, free long distance, cheaper options than phone or cell service, however, VOIP calls present problems for 911 answering centers and can often be mis-routed or have the wrong address information.
VOIP subscribers should consider precautionary steps to ensure their safety when emergency services are needed.
Keep a land line telephone installed in your house (with minimal services) so you can still receive 911 services and have a backup for power outages or internet difficulties.
Know the 911 capabilities of your VOIP provider and make sure to register your account with the physical location where the phone will be used so it can be entered into the local 911 system.
Attempt to test your VOIP through your local 911 center; call the business line to make sure it is a good time to try a test.
Make sure you update your address information when you move
Keep your family informed of the limitations of VOIP
The best way to make sure the 911 operator has your exact location is to stay on the line and clearly give the information; don't rely on the automated information.