When Should I Call 911?

A Durham Police Sgt. makes it fun to learn what’s best to do

Let’s keep looking out for each other, Durham!

We belong to a neigh­bor­hood group in South Durham (They have them all over, and this is from a new one on Nextdoor)

This mes­sage is a fun take on a very weighty top­ic writ­ten by a Durham PD Sergeant.

Sgt. D. Gunter
Durham Police Depart­ment
Dis­trict 2 HEAT
(919) 560‑4582 ext. 29252
[email protected]

We love our Durham PD… we did a photo project recently for the Chamber of Commerce with them and other first responders… so I’ve dropped in a few of those photos break things up a bit.


When Should I Call 911?

There seems to be some con­fu­sion and hes­i­ta­tion about when to call 911…lots of peo­ple have emailed me recent­ly to ask when or what con­sti­tutes a 911 call ver­sus a non-emer­gency call…so in order to clear it all up and because I know you’re all won­der­ing, I’m gonna give you the skin­ny on the whole deal. This is excit­ing stuff folks, so put ahuthphoto-kah_1943 pil­low on the floor just in case you fall off the edge of your seat.

Here we go…if you see some­thing HAPPENING that you think needs Police atten­tion NOW (or for that mat­ter, any­thing that falls under “Emer­gency Ser­vices” such as Police, Fire or EMS) then 911 is appro­pri­ate. The basic idea is to ask your­self if what you’re see­ing is “In-Progress.” If it is in progress…call 911.
Now…if the sit­u­a­tion is clear­ly NOT an emer­gency or the inci­dent is not cur­rent­ly in progress, then dial­ing the Non-Emer­gency line is appro­pri­ate (560‑4600). That’s why it’s called the Non-Emer­gency line…nifty huh?
Exam­ples of 911 calls can include:
Car wrecks
Any med­ical emer­gency
A break-in to your home (and you don’t know if any­one is inside)
A break-in to your home while YOU’RE inside!
See­ing some­one steal­ing, about to steal, or break-in to some­thing
Fights (does­n’t apply to ani­mals, does apply to Kung-Fu)
Any­body with a gun (cept us of course!)
Any sight­ing of Chuck Nor­ris (cause some­one is about to get hurt)
Sus­pi­cious activ­i­ty (make sure to tell 911 exact­ly what’s sus­pi­cious about what you see)
Your house is on fire
My house is on fire
Any­bodys house is on fire
Fire in gen­er­al
If you’ve fall­en and can’t get up
If I’ve fall­en and I can’t get up!
On sec­ond thought; A Chuck Nor­ris sight­ing… noth­ing we can do. Best not to inter­vene. It is after all…Chuck Nor­ris.
Now…this is not even a drop in the buck­et so don’t lim­it your­self to any list out there, because there are here are so many sit­u­a­tions that can and would apply. Use good judg­ment and if you still have doubt, call 911. You can’t go wrong.…we’ll fig­ure it out when we get there.
Now…for the non-emer­gency stuff…
The Non-Emer­gency num­ber for the Durham Police is 560‑4600.
Basi­cal­ly… any­thing that you might need the police for.…but it’s not a “ShaZ­a­aam!” moment, it’s NOT in progress and it doesn’t endan­ger life or prop­er­ty. It’s more of a “Well, the police should prob­a­bly know whats going on here, but there’s no rush.”
Some exam­ples are:
A dent to your car in the park­ing lot.
A stolen mow­er, weed wack­er, whack-a-mole game, wilt­ed wieep­ing wil­low, or oth­er prop­er­ty (some­thing that might have got­ten stolen out of your shed for exam­ple) and the bad guy is long gone
A minor crime that occurred days ago or even hours ago
A car break-in (not in progress)
Iden­ti­ty fraud (not in progress)
Police advice

a group of Durham NC police officers

When not to call us at all.….

When your order at Mick­ey-D’s is not real­ly “Your way.”
When you for­get your anniver­sary. ..again…and you were mar­ried Christ­mas day, her birth­day or Hal­loween… (you’re on your own fel­las).
Cat in a tree (it will come down even­tu­al­ly.. .after all, who’s ever seen a cat skele­ton in a tree?)
Dog in a tree…call me direct­ly. Got­ta see that.
Clowns… your discretion.…they creep me out too.
Aliens…when aliens from Mars, in pos­ses­sion of an Illudi­um PU 36 Explo­sive Space Mod­u­la­tor, lands in the city park and start vapor­iz­ing peo­ple into cos­mic dust…it may be an emer­gency, but trust me…I ain’t com­ing.
Just to say “Hi Police!”
When Vic­tor finds out Adam is secret­ly con­spir­ing against Ash­ley to make her think she’s los­ing her mind and to make her think she’s preg­nant, but we all know she’s real­ly not, except for Victor…who can’t see the truth because he hates Jack, and Jack is wor­ry­ing about Glo­ria schem­ing as usu­al and Jack and Vic­tor are wor­ry­ing about that crazy Mary Jane and kit­ty cat.…Mary Jane wants kill Jack and Vic­tor and stuff the new cat…or mar­ry Jack…depends on the moment. Now, Mary Jane might ought to think about call­ing 911 for that spi­der bite…that might be appro­pri­ate. .…and she could if she had­n’t have stomped on the cell phone Not that I watch Y&R…it’s just what I hear…honest. .. you know, word on the street and all.
To find out the weath­er or road conditions…instead, just watch Don “Big Weath­er” Schwen­nek­er on WTVD.…if Big Weath­er says “Tar­Nad­er is a comin”…grab Dorothy and the dog and get in the cellar…cause a Tar­Nad­er is a comin!
You want direc­tions…
Lost cell phones (No need to report it to any­one but your insur­ance com­pa­ny. Also, how did you call?)
Lost wal­let
Lost dogs
Lost cats
Lost love
Lost keys
Lost re-runs
Los Alam­os
Las Vegas…what hap­pens in Vegas…stays in Vegas…unless you put it on Face­book, Insta­gram or Snapchat.

Now…if you have some­thing that comes up and are con­fused or that you won­der about or have ANY DOUBT at all…repeat after me…. Call 911.…you cant go wrong.

Sgt. D. Gunter
Durham Police Depart­ment
Dis­trict 2 HEAT
(919) 560‑4582 ext. 29252
[email protected]

“Be Alert…The World Needs More Lerts!

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