General FAQ

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 09:11

Below are some questions that we are asked most frequently.  Can't find an answer to your question?  Email us your question and we will respond to you directly, as well as possibly adding your question to our list of FAQs!


Q. How do I report a crime?

For more detailed information, go to our "Report a Crime/Incident" page.

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Q.  When should I call 911?

Examples of when to call 911 include:

Examples of when NOT to call 911 include: Back to Top

Q.  My situation is not an emergency. What number do I call instead of 911?

For non-emergency situations in Pullman and Whitman County, call our regional dispatch center at 509-332-2521.

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Q.  I am not sure if my situation is an emergency.  What should I do?

If you’re not sure whether the situation is a true emergency, authorities recommend calling 911 and letting the call-taker determine whether you need emergency help.

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 Q.  What will the dispatcher ask when I call?

All callers are asked a standard set of questions which will help the dispatcher prioritize your call, and will provide the responding personnel with information before their arrival. The following are just some of the questions we may ask you.

The purpose behind these questions is to ascertain the following information:

You may feel panicky, but try to stay in calm. The operator needs the answers to these questions to decide what type of emergency workers should be sent and where to send them.

Stay on the phone and answer the questions as calmly as you can. Sometimes it may sound as if the dispatcher is repeating themselves with the same questions but you may give more detail the second time. There may have been something you've forgotten earlier. Please don't become irritated with them, they are trying to obtain important information and to assist you.

If someone is unconscious or has stopped breathing, the 911 operator may give you instructions for immediate help that you can provide, such as administering CPR or relieving choking if you've been trained.

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Q. What if I dial 911 by mistake?

DO NOT HANG UP!  Before you hang up, be sure to tell the dispatcher that you have dialed 9-1-1 by mistake, and that you do not need emergency help! This is particularly important if you dial from a business phone with several phone lines. Anytime the police dispatcher receives a 9-1-1 "hang-up" call, the caller must be contacted to be sure that no actual emergency exists. If your business has dozens or even hundreds of phone lines, it may be impossible for the dispatcher to determine who, if anyone needs help, and an officer must then be dispatched to the address. 

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