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Calling 9-1-1

Police suggest calling 9-1-1 from your cell phone only in true emergencies:
  • Unreported collisions
  • Any life-threatening event
  • Any crime against you or another person
  • A vehicle or object blocking traffic lanes
  • A suspected drunk driver
Do not use 9-1-1 for situations such as:
  • A stalled vehicle off the roadway
  • A broken-down vehicle that is not a hazard
  • Winter road conditions
  • A stolen vehicle when nothing is known about the suspected thief
  • Asking for directions
  • Testing your phone
When you dial 9-1-1, the call from your cellular phone is routed to the appropriate emergency response authority. Be prepared to provide:
  • Exact location of vehicle in distress
  • Nature of emergency
  • Your name and cellular number, including area code
If You Do Not Have An Emergency You are Requested to call our Non-Emergency Line 732-3611.

Remember: Answering questions does NOT delay the dispatch of assistance. A dispatcher is sending help your way while the Call Taker takes additional information from you. The more pertinent information you give us, the safer everyone will be.

Why prioritize calls? We answer hundreds of calls each day - everything from found property to attempted murder. Obviously, we must respond more quickly when a life is in danger than when only property is threatened. We have limited resources and must work numerous calls simultaneously; prioritization helps us effectively and efficiently use those resources. We make every effort to provide the highest level of police service at every call.

How are common calls prioritized? The factors below are not rigid categories but guidelines used when determining the priority of 911 calls. Some of the most common calls are listed as examples.
The factors below are not rigid categories but guidelines used when determining the priority of 911 calls. Some of the most common calls are listed as examples.

Classification

Factors

Dispatch Method

Examples

EMERGENCY
Immediate, emergency police response
(lights and sirens)

Immediate threat to life.
Violent criminal act in progress.
Violent incident just occurred and there is a likelihood of suspect apprehension.

Units sent immediately

Armed robbery
Stabbing
Sexual assault in progress
Shooting

PRIORITY 1
Immediate police response

Criminal offense just occurred
Suspects are still in the area or just left the scene
Potential violence or imminent danger
Non-violent criminal offense in progress with suspects still on scene (example: someone vandalizing property, kids throwing rocks at cars)
Citizen's arrest with suspect resisting (ex: shoplifter in custody causing problems)

Units sent immediately, if available. If no units are available in that district, the dispatcher determines the closest available unit and sends that unit to the call.

Domestic disturbance
Physical altercation
Accident with injuries
Gunshots fired
Report of sexual assault (suspect fled)
Hold-up or panic alarm
Robbery (suspects fled or no weapon used)

PRIORITY 2
Reasonable police field response

No offense is in progress
A delay in police response is not likely to result in a criminal offense
A delay is not likely to result in further injury, loss of property, or adversely affect investigation
No reason to believe suspect is on scene or in area
Citizen's arrest with suspect not resisting.

The goal is to send the district police officer so he/she is aware of crimes in his/her area. If the district a police officer is not available, dispatcher may hold the call for up to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, dispatcher will send an officer from another district.

911 hang ups*
Shoplifter in custody/not resisting
Commercial or residential alarm
Runaway or missing person report
Suspicious person

PRIORITY 3 AS AVAILABLE
As-available basis by the Police officer

A delay is not likely to adversely affect investigation
No change in physical evidence expected
Suspect description unknown Suspect not near
Complainant is requesting contact

The goal is to send the district officer. Dispatcher may hold the call for up to one hour, but will dispatch an officer from another district if the local district officer is still unavailable after one hour.

Loud music**
Barking dogs** Residential or commercial burglary report (suspect fled) **
Assault report**
Other reports where suspect is not on scene**

PRIORITY 3 WHEN AVAILABLE
Police Officer on a when- available basis

No complainant is waiting
Delayed investigation or report Follow-up incident

The goal is to send the district police officer. Dispatcher may hold the call for up to two hours, but will dispatch an officer from another district if the local district officer is still unavailable after two hours.

Found or abandoned property**
Lost property**

* About 911 hang-ups: Our policy is to respond to ALL 911 hang up calls. If you change your mind about needing assistance, stay on the line and explain that to the 911 Call Taker. Otherwise, an officer will be dispatched to your location to ensure that you are safe. Calling 911 when you do not need an officer puts those who need emergency assistance in danger and puts you in danger of being prosecuted for making a false report.

The Bogalusa Police Department is asking citizens to help stop the accidental calls by locking their cell phone keypads, turning off automatic 911 dialing features and avoiding programming 911 as a speed-dial number.