Use 9-1-1 for emergencies!
An emergency is when you absolutely need the police, fire department or ambulance immediately. Emergencies include crimes that are in progress or about to happen, and ones that have resulted in serious personal injury, property damage, or property loss. They also include situations in which the suspect may still be at the scene and some suspicious activities. By calling 9-1-1 you will be linked to the appropriate police as well as fire fighting, medical, and ambulance services. You don't need money to call 9-1-1 from a pay phone.
When you dial 9-1-1 from a cellular phone in Lawrence County your call is automatically directed to the Emergency call center where it is then redirected to the appropriate agency.
Please remember, If you use 9-1-1 for something that is not an emergency you could tie up the line for someone who has a real emergency. 9-1-1 is NOT the number for general information.Please use (724)652-5203 to contact the police department if you do not have an emergency.
Some examples of situations that are appropriate for 9-1-1
Report Persons who are:
- Life Threatening medical emergencies
- Fire or smell of smoke
- Vehicle crashes involving personal injury
- Fights or sexual assaults
- Burglaries and robberies
- Flashlight beam in a business or home, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
- Domestic violence
- Child and elder abuse
- Sounds of gunshots, screaming, breaking glass, explosions, alarms, etc.
- Hit and run accidents with possible injuries
- Vehicles containing weapons or property not normally kept in vehicles
- Dumping or spilling of fuel or other hazardous substances
- Road hazards that require immediate attention to prevent personal injuries and property damage
- Graffiti and other acts of vandalism in progress
- Missing person who needs special care - be sure to tell the operator if the person needs medication and has a special problem, e.g., Alzheimer's disease
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Entering a neighbor's home when the neighbor is away
- Forcing an entry of a home, business, or vehicle
- Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms that poses a threat to him/herself or others
- Removing property from a business, home, or vehicle, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
- Carrying or wearing bloody clothing
- Carrying a gun in plain view
- Struggling with a resisting child
- Trying to or actually using a vehicle to pick up a person by force, especially a child or female
Some example situations that may not be emergencies are:
- Home and business burglaries in which the suspect is gone from the scene
- Open or broken doors or windows in businesses or homes, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
- Stolen checks and credit cards -- also call the financial institutions involved to have them stop payments of checks and verifications of charges
- Impersonation and stolen identification, e.g., drivers license
- Auto theft and vandalism
- Hit and run accidents with no injuries
- Minors violating curfew
- Loud parties -- the person calling must be willing to sign a complaint
- Road hazards that don't require immediate attention
- Past instances of graffiti or other vandalism
- Past instances of child or elder abuse
- Runaway juvenile or missing adult who does not need special care
- Car or building alarms
- Underage drinking
- Accumulations of consumer goods, especially in good condition and not in use in homes, garages, and storage areas
Persons who are:
- Disturbing the peace, i.e., loitering, panhandling, noise making, and harassing others
- Soliciting without a license, not displaying a valid registration card, or operating between the hours of 9:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
- Going door-to-door, or into side or back yards in a residential area
- Loitering near a business or home, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
- Loitering near schools or parks
- Looking into parked vehicles
- Running other than for exercise
- Carrying property at an unusual time and place
- Entering and leaving property on daily or regular basis, or in large numbers, especially at night
- Drunk in public but not in any immediate danger
- Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms but not a danger to themselves or others
- Offering goods for sale at ridiculously low prices
- Making a quick change of vehicles
The ability of the police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the report you submit. The following information checklist should be used for reporting both emergency and non-emergency crimes:
- Type of crime
- Location: exact street address and nearest cross street
- Time of occurrence
- Weapons used
- Number of persons injured and types of injuries
- Vehicle information: type, license number, color, year, make, model, unusual characteristics (e.g., dents, bumper stickers), number of persons, etc.
- Suspect information: race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, hair length and style, eye color, facial hair, clothing type and color, other characteristics (e.g., tattoos, missing teeth, scars, glasses), direction of flight, etc.
Crimes and suspicious activities that fall into these categories are: (a) those that don't involve serious personal injury, property damage, or property loss; (b) ones in which there is no possibility that the suspect is still at the scene or is likely to return to the scene; and (c) ones for which an immediate response is not needed.
If there is any doubt as to whether the situation is an emergency, it is always better to be on the safe side and call 9-1-1.