When should you call 9-1-1?

Police are called to thousands upon thousands of incidents every year, some more serious than others. In a shift, a Police officer might be dispatched to resolve a dispute between neighbours to a suspicious person casing vehicles to assaults or homicides.

Do you know that not all of those instances require you to call 911?

Some examples of non-emergencies include:

  • Reporting a crime with no suspect (i.e. theft of license plate)
  • Reporting a crime with a suspect, but the suspect is not on the scene (i.e. fraud)
  • Reporting a serious crime with a suspect, but with a lengthy delay (i.e. assault that occurred last night at a bar)
  • Non-emergency incidents in progress (i.e. noisy party, drug use, barking dog)
  • Ongoing crime issues or crimes that are not in-progress (i.e. graffiti or ongoing drug dealing with no suspect on scene)
  • A suspicious circumstance that may indicate an ongoing criminal activity (i.e. marihuana grow operation)

The non emergency line for the Saskatoon Police Service is 306-975-8300.

Please remember that by using the non-emergency reporting number, you are helping to keep the 911 lines available for people reporting an emergency.

Dialing 9-1-1 in an Emergency

Dial 9-1-1 for police, fire or medical emergencies when immediate action is required: a life or property is in danger, a crime is in progress, or you have a medical emergency.

If you are unsure how serious an incident is, dial 9-1-1 and the call-taker will advise whether or not it is an emergency.  If it is not an emergency, they will ask you to call back on the non-emergency line.

When calling 9-1-1, stay calm.  You will be connected to a call-taker at a public safety answering point. When your call is answered, the call-taker will automatically see a display of your phone number and address or land location (cell phones do not provide name, number or location). To ensure the proper response to the emergency, you will be asked:

  • The nature of your emergency – the call-taker will determine what agency you require (police, fire or ambulance),
  • To verify the address or land location you are calling from – where is the emergency?
  • To verify the telephone number you are calling from.

The 911 call-taker will stay on the line and connect you to the appropriate dispatch agency for fire, police or ambulance.

Call-takers are trained to ask specific questions.  Please answer the questions as best you can. As call-takers are asking you questions, that information is being relayed via computer to dispatchers while emergency personnel are on their way to help you. By providing clear information about the nature of the emergency, you will help ensure a fast and efficient response.

What to do if you call 9-1-1 accidentally

Stay on the line and tell the call-taker is was an accident. If you hang up, we don’t know if you are okay and we will have to call back or send police to check on you.


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