When to Call 911

Call 911 to report a crime or for emergencies requiring immediate police assistance.

Reasons to Call 911
Call 911 for any of the following reasons:
  • In-progress crimes or crimes when the suspect is still in the area
  • Traffic accidents when parties are still on-scene
  • Hit-and-run traffic accidents
  • Any crime involving bodily assault
  • Any domestic violence crime
  • Theft or intentional damage to property with at least $10,000 in loss or damages
  • Motor vehicle (licensed for the road) theft
  • Bomb, terrorist or hate-bias threats or acts
  • Burglary (entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime, e.g. theft, damage to property.)
  • Suspicious persons, vehicles or circumstances when in-progress or suspects are still in the area.
  • Fires or possible fires
  • Emergency medical or medical transport needs
When Not to Call
Do not call 911 for the following reasons:
  • When looking for directions or phone numbers
  • For information about animal control issues unless the animal has bitten someone, or is currently acting aggressively
  • To find out if someone is in jail or to get information on someone in jail. The Spokane County Jail Roster is available online for this information. You may also call the jail at 509-477-2278
  • To report city issues that are not of a police, fire or medical nature. Refer to the government pages of the local telephone directory for the appropriate number
  • To report a crime after the fact, (e.g. vehicle prowling, vandalism, custodial interference, harassment, etc) which do not require an officer/deputy at the scene you may call Crime Check anytime at 509-456-2233
  • Any in-progress issues may be reported through Crime Check, however, if it is a life-threatening situation please use 911
If you are unsure of how to report a crime or incident, call 911 and the call-receiver will direct you.

Tips for Calling the Spokane 911 Center
  • Stay calm
  • State the problem briefly
  • Know where you are and your telephone number. This is very important information. If you don’t know the exact address, provide a hundred block, an intersection or a landmark to help the call-receiver to understand where you are
  • Answer the call receiver's questions and stay on the line until the call receiver terminates the call. Help can be sent while you talk
  • When providing information about an incident, be as descriptive as possible. You may be asked to give identifying information about any persons or automobiles involved in the situation
  • Inform the call receiver if you do not want your name and address given to responding units. Inform the operator if you want to be contacted directly by the officer(s) or responders
  • Calls from pay phones are free; you do not have to deposit money to make 911 calls
  • TTY users may press any key after dialing 911 to indicate that a TTY is being used. However, "silent" calls are handled as a potential TTY call
  • If the situation changes before help arrives, call 911 again and then give the call receiver an update