You must log in or register to comment.

omninascent t1_iy0ruia wrote

If it’s an emergency then you dial 911, if it’s a non-emergency, you have time to look it up. Right? I mean….


petdance t1_iy253lo wrote

Many times I have been driving, seen something that require police attention, like a stalled car in the middle of a busy road, and said “hey Siri call Mytown Police”. I got the police and told them the location. I didn’t have to pull over and look it up.


Addakisson t1_iy2ozwi wrote

Not everyone has/wants voice control or Siri.


petdance t1_iy3ed1h wrote

Sure, but for those who do, having the phone number of the police in the phone makes it trivial to make the call. The scenario i described has happened to me at least three times in the past year.

If the LPT is not for you, that’s fine. No need to argue against it.


sicilianDev t1_iy50ldj wrote

Just dial 911, theyll transfer you if they deem it not an emergency, they have plenty of operators. In fact, you are helping them do their job, not taking up time and preventing others from calling in. If you need cops, you need cops.


whitlockian OP t1_iy0tvv1 wrote

Yes, of course. It's a convenience to have the number handy.

Happy 🍰 Day!


mtgguy999 t1_iy10lss wrote

I mean it would be convenient to already have the number for any person or business that I want to call, doesn’t mean I’m going to inconvenience myself today looking up numbers for every conceivable contact just incase. It is usually only take a 1 minute google search to find what I need and if I’m calling this number it’s by definition a non emergency


SomethingTrippy420 t1_iy2c6ab wrote

What if your non-emergency involves poor cell coverage? It’s not like you will ever regret having this number I in your phone.


day7seven t1_iy2hirh wrote

Then who cares? It wasn't an emergency anyways. No big deal if you wait until you get somewhere with good coverage.


whitlockian OP t1_iy18gjg wrote

Hey, it's just a tip. Take it or leave it but some might find it useful. None of these LPTs are for everyone. Use the ones you think are useful to you and ignore the rest.


sharabi_bandar t1_iy2husp wrote

Yeah but this one is inherently bad.


wild_wet_daddy t1_iy4bk01 wrote

How so, it's an actual life tip, yes, not a pro tip or anything but a tip on life or rather advice.But this is so common knowledge, to keep your local police number in your phone, im actually flabbergasted that there is any debate here at all or at the audacity of people actually complaining that some stranger might even make there live easier


omninascent t1_iy0u9kc wrote

Lol thanks! Our non emergency number is really easy to remember so I guess after 20+ years living here I take the ease for granted. “242-COPS”


Drop_Society t1_iy0jnkp wrote

So many people don’t even know the non-emergency numbers exist, it’s crazy it’s just 911 for everything .


stressed0324 t1_iy0ufp2 wrote

In my area, the non-emergency numbers now just go to 911. You have to have the direct number for a particular person or you are just going straight to 911 dispatchers and you have to tell them who you want in what city. It’s super annoying. I’m not trying to tie up 911 every time I need to talk to someone (daily in my job).


GingerScourge t1_iy260c1 wrote

911 dispatcher here. Most non-emergency lines go to 911 operators. The big difference being the priority at which calls get answered. As well as a few procedural differences in how you handle call hang ups and the need to put a line on hold.

Every center is different. But at ours, we have a “priority answer” button we push when answering a ringing line. If there are multiple lines ringing, it prioritizes first by type of line (911 > non- emergency > internal communication line > other agency “hot lines”). After that it prioritizes by which call was placed first.

And like anything else, every center is different and operates differently. Another local agency used to have call takers that would take all initial calls from the public (911 and non-emergency) and would figure out what was happening, triage the call and then forward to the appropriate dispatcher, but would handle non-emergency calls themselves. I think they recently stopped doing that and trained everyone to do everything.

And while on the OPs topic, yes it’s a good idea to know your local non-emergency number or have it programmed in your phone. But, as a dispatcher, I’d much rather someone call in a non-emergency on 911 than an emergency on the non-emergency lines. There are people that are so scared to dial 911 they’ll call a legit emergency on the non-emergency line and us dispatchers lose some critical information. We only get location information on 911. If you call non-emergency, all we get is regular caller ID. So when in doubt, just use 911.


stressed0324 t1_iy26mo7 wrote

That is super helpful to know, thank you! When they’re busy they’ll often put me on hold and are very apologetic about it, but I’m good. They need to take care of the emergencies first; I can wait for my info.


DHThrowawayy t1_iy1ja50 wrote

in my area, the only way to get anyone dispatched is thru the 911 center. i’ve called the non emergency line for non emergencies, namely for animal control, and been directed to call 911 because they don’t have the ability to dispatch from that office.


[deleted] t1_iy0jlrs wrote



igotthedoortor t1_iy0ow9c wrote

I’ve had to call the non emergency line while driving to report items in the road or possible drunk drivers. Was nice to have it in my list of favorites.


whitlockian OP t1_iy0k0tu wrote

It would be both easier and quicker to have it in your contacts though.


petdance t1_iy257xo wrote

You’re driving, you see a car stalled in the middle of a busy road. “Hey siri call Mytown Police.”


RizziJoy t1_iy210rm wrote

Do you not have a standard number for non emergencies? Here in the uk it’s 999 for emergencies and 101 for non emergencies


bmx13 t1_iy26nh7 wrote

That's honestly fuggin brilliant. Which is to say no, we don't have that in the US.


whitlockian OP t1_iy2feyr wrote

No, each police department handles it their own way. Some have a regular number for non-emergencies, and some direct the non-emergency number to 911 dispatchers after hours. Some don't have a number dedicated as "non-emergency " so you either call their main local number or 911. It's all up to the individual police department to decide how they want to handle calls.


geekworking t1_iy0rv4r wrote

Depends on the place. Many towns contract out all call services to the county 911 center and no longer man a police desk 24/7. You can call police department during normal business hours but outside of that the number is going through the 911 call center anyway.


MellRox013 t1_iy237c0 wrote

If it's not an emergency, surely I have time to look it up when the need arises.


petdance t1_iy25b5f wrote

Not if you’re driving.


Dretzle t1_iy27tdg wrote

If it's not an emergency, surely they have time to pull over and look it up.


igotthedoortor t1_iy0onl5 wrote

This might not apply to tons of people, but we live near a bunch of ski resorts and have their emergency numbers in our phones too. You do not want to have to google their phone number when your kid is missing or there’s been an accident. Same for visiting national/state parks.


Rebmik1324 t1_iy11zd2 wrote

Yes! I have the non-emergency number memorized, but every single time I’ve needed it I’ve blanked and had to google it.


PositiveBox1 t1_iy1z4wg wrote

Even if you’re there for a short while. I was a teen (f) in TN for the summer with my grandpa. He was working one day and I walked to the grocery store to stock up the mini fridge. On the way back this car stopped asked if I needed a ride I said no and kept walking. I was close to the hotel we were staying at when he circled back and asked again this time he was jerking off! I got scared and said my grandpa was almost there pick me up and he took off. My phone was on 4% and was dying fast so I called 911 thinking they would know what to do or help me somehow but NOPE. She said “ma’am this line is for emergencies only.” What?!? Well she hung up and my phone died so I couldn’t call the non emergency line 🤦‍♀️


whitlockian OP t1_iy2fxfi wrote

Wow, sorry that happened to you! I would have called 911 for that situation also.


DunDewEet t1_iy2dmyg wrote

Examples you might use the number for:

You find a runaway dog that clearly belongs to someone.

There is a dead animal on the road that you personally didn't hit and can push off, but still needs to be disposed of/reported

You find a lost wallet and aren't able to visit the police on site today

There are surely quite some more instances where you should contact your local police and don't want to go to your national emergency number. Two of these cases happened to me where i did have not clear enough mind about searching for a local number and was happy to have it ready.


keepthetips t1_iy0j699 wrote

Hello and welcome to r/LifeProTips!

Please help us decide if this post is a good fit for the subreddit by up or downvoting this comment.

If you think that this is great advice to improve your life, please upvote. If you think this doesn't help you in any way, please downvote. If you don't care, leave it for the others to decide.


jdith123 t1_iy1japd wrote

I’m perfectly capable of looking up the non-emergency number if I need it. I don’t need to carry it with me. And in my area, if I want to report most crimes, even if it’s a non-emergency like a car stolen, they direct me to call 911.


G3N3Parmesan t1_iy26mag wrote

LPT - get a smartphone?


jdith123 t1_iy27nq7 wrote

Of course I mean getting the number from the phone. I’m just old as fuck so I talk funny. 🤷🏼‍♀️


G3N3Parmesan t1_iy28d9i wrote

What I’m trying to say is we all have smartphones now so why can’t you just search the non emergency number if you need it?


jdith123 t1_iy296bs wrote

That’s why I meant too. When I said look up the number, I meant use the smartphone to find the number. I haven’t used a phone book in I don’t know how many years. No one does.

How do you say find the number with the phone anyway? I guess I could say I can “google” the number instead of “look up” the number.


Dunstan_Stockwater t1_iy262zv wrote

If it's not an emergency I'll google that shit, thanks.


Ganbario t1_iy26p6n wrote

I will look up the number on Google maps, on my phone. Should I store the number in “notes” next to Google maps, on my phone…? Oh wait, I can look it up and call it, on my phone! Maybe I should send this tip back in time to before we all had smart phones when this tip was written.


boipinoi604 t1_iy2co7o wrote

Add your building security agent number in your phone


sicilianDev t1_iy50cov wrote

I always just dial 911. They'll transfer you if it's not an emergency.


Alexandurrrrr t1_iy1ksvf wrote

Useful if you want to report noisy neighbors, loud music playing after hours, etc.


360walkaway t1_iy2c762 wrote

Can't you just call 911 and ask for non-emergency?


whitlockian OP t1_iy2eo6v wrote

I have no idea. I do know that I have seen numerous reports of people being charged with abusing the 911 system for trivial complaints. I suspect they are serial abusers, though, that call 911 for ridiculous reasons.


sylveon_souperstar t1_iy23l24 wrote

or just don’t rely on the police, cuz ACAB and everything


MJohnVan t1_iy1deg9 wrote

Slip a $20. If you want them arrive sooner