How to make 9-1-1 work better

SPD North Precinct Advisory Council Meeting 2011–11-02

Guest Speaker at this month’s meeting was Robert Montague, Manager of the Seattle 9-1-1 Call Center. Mr. Montague made several interesting and helpful points regarding 9-1-1 calls:

  1. Most important when calling 9-1-1 is that you know the address you’re reporting from or with regards to – “Location, Location, Location”.
  2. Particularly, if using a cell phone to call, you have to be able to explain exactly where you are. (Only “Phase II” cell phones have GPS chips giving location.)
  3. If you want to remain anonymous, you have the option of requesting “Do Not Disclose”. (Most anonymous 9-1-1 calls are related to parking complaints, domestic violence, etc. )
  4. Every 9-1-1 call is recorded. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of your 9-1-1 call or with the 9-1-1 operator, you can call back and speak with a supervisor.
  5. 9-1-1 Operators are trained to handle every call as a potential triage situation and consequently may interrupt you in order to most expeditiously the pertinent information as soon as possible. “Let the Operator GUIDE the Call!”

Terrie Johnston, the Crime Prevention Coordinator for the SPD North Precinct, further suggested that it is always important and appropriate to call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious characters/strangers in your neighborhood and to try to report License Plate numbers whenever possible.