9-1-1 Center

When Should I Use 911?

Perhaps the most important thing to remember about 911 is when to use it.  It is not meant to be used to contact the Police Department about routine matters.  911 is solely used to report emergencies.

What is an Emergency?

An emergency is when IMMEDIATE Police, Fire, or Medical assistance is necessary to protect life or property.


  • To report a fire
  • To save a life and for all medical emergencies
  • To stop a crime in progress or report one that has just occurred

Call (402)375-2626: (DO NOT CALL 911)

  • When a crime has already occurred and the offenders are no longer on scene
  • For nuisance calls (e.g. barking dogs, landscape and construction noise)
  • To obtain information from the Police Department
  • To speak with an officer
  • For non-emergency situations

Reporting an Emergency (9-1-1)

To obtain the best possible police response, you should be prepared to efficiently report all crime and suspicious activity to the police. Some situations warrant using the 9-1-1 emergency number while others should be phoned in to the 24-hour non-emergency line. The following guidelines are offered to assist you in determining which number to use:

A police emergency may be any crime in progress that you are aware of or are observing. A crime that has just been committed against you or one that you just witnessed. For example, you have just had your purse snatched and/or vehicle description may help the police make an apprehension. The 9-1-1 number can be dialed from any telephone and will go directly to the Wayne Police Department's Communication Center. You can also dial 9-1-1 from any coin operated telephone without depositing any money. In order for the police to respond to an emergency, let the dispatcher take control of the conversation. He or she will ask you a series of questions to learn exactly what is taking place. Depending on the type of call, the dispatcher will ask:

  • What happened?
  • Where it happened?
  • Your name, phone number, and location
  • Suspect(s) description
  • Weapon, if any
  • Vehicle, if any, and its direction of travel
  • Identifiable features of house or building
  • Pet(s) on premises, if any
  • Injuries, if any

Speak as calmly as you can. In an emergency seconds count. The faster the dispatcher can get the information from you and to an officer the faster your emergency can be dealt with. Remember, even though you are in a hurry each question that you're asked is designed to add a piece to the "picture" so that arriving officers, firemen, or EMS personnel can take precautions for what may be a dangerous situation. The more complete the picture, the quicker and safer the outcome will be for all concerned.