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How to report a non-emergency

Greg Blake1

A non-emergency incident is any incident that does not require the immediate emergency response of the police, ambulance or fire department. Some examples of non-emergency incidents are:

  • Report an abandoned vehicle, a loud party, a pet related problem
  • Report vandalism
  • Report crimes not in progress
  • Request information
  • Report situations like water in the cellar or trees down

When reporting non-emergency incidents: 

  1. Tell the public safety telecommunicator/call taker that your call is not an emergency.
  2. Provide your name, address (including house number) and telephone number.
  3. Answer all questions. Provide the best description of the situation that you can.
  4. Listen for instructions. Do exactly what the public safety telecommunicator/call taker says.
  5. Stay on the line. Don't hang up until you are told to do so. The public safety telecommunicator/call taker is trained to gather all information necessary to determine if the incident should be dispatched and which agencies will respond.
  6. If calling from a cellular telephone, provide as much information about your location as possible, including mile markers, cross streets, etc.
  7. During especially busy times, the public safety telecommunicator/call taker may have to put you on hold in order to answer incoming emergency calls. Please be patient, the hold time of our non-emergency callers is usually brief.

  8. NEVER LIE to a 9-1-1 public safety telecommunicator/call taker. Such misrepresentation could result in criminal prosecution. It could also put the responders at risk. It is also a crime to knowingly and intentionally give false information.
Is your house number posted in a location clearly visible from the street? It's the law in Oswego County!