Communications Division

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Communications Division, Emergency 911 Center

The LaSalle Police Department has a state of the art Emergency 911 Dispatch Center that is staffed with trained telecommunicators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This Center has two computerized work stations which have access to local, state and federal databases. 

All Emergency Police, Fire and EMS 911 calls made within the City of LaSalle are routed through this Center which handles over 60,000 calls a year. In addition, the Center is equipped with specialized computer equipment which is capable of tracking wireless 911 telephone calls. 

The telecommunicators of the communications division have one the most difficult jobs in the police department. They are made up of dedicated professionals who answer and dispatch all calls for emergency and routine service. These employees are the “life-line” to the officers and emergency service providers in the field.

If you need assistance, please contact the LaSalle Police Department on the non-emergency line, 815/223-2131. In the event of an emergency, dial 911.

Understanding 9-1-1

The following guidelines should be followed when calling for assistance or reporting an incident in the City of LaSalle:

When to dial 9-1-1?

You should 9-1-1 to report any incident that requires immediate dispatch of police, fire, or an ambulance.

  • Medical emergency
  • Fire
  • Motor vehicle accidents involving injuries or lane blockage
  • To report incidents of domestic violence, fights, rape, assault, robbery, disturbances, shootings, stabbing, all crimes in progress or just occurred
  • To report road hazards, drunk drivers or reckless drivers, tornado's

If you are unsure if your situation is an emergency, call 9-1-1:

When to dial the non-emergency number, 815-223-2131

You may call the non-emergency phone number 815-223-2131 to report non-urgent incidents that require a police response such as lost property, noise complaints, non-violent animal complaints, minor motor vehicle accidents, etc. This number should also be used to call administrative personnel, the detectives, or to request a copy of a police or accident report. The same telecommunicators that answer the 9-1-1 emergency calls also answer the non-emergency calls so please be patient, 9-1-1 calls will be answered first then the non-emergency calls.

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How to use 9-1-1

Dial the digits 9-1-1 from any residential, cellular, or coin-operated phone. If your school or business is on a PBX system that requires you to dial another digit (often 9) to reach an outside line then dial that digit first, then 9-1-1, e.g. 9-9-1-1.

Report the nature of your call: police, fire, or medical. Give the location of your incident, your name, and your phone number. Be prepared to answer the dispatcher's questions in detail. In life-threatening situations, the dispatcher may continue to ask questions while units are dispatched to the location you provided.

If you are reporting a crime and a person is involved, pay close attention to a physical description. If a vehicle is involved, obtain the color, year, make, license plate information and direction of travel if possible. Do not place yourself in danger to obtain information.

When reporting a fire, tell what is on fire and whether anyone is in danger such as a person(s) inside a vehicle or structure. Advise if any hazardous material is involved. Do not place yourself in danger to obtain information.

If you are reporting a medical emergency be prepared to answer certain questions about the patient. This information will help the dispatcher send the appropriate emergency equipment. Be prepared to receive instructions to assist with the medical emergency before the paramedics arrive.

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9-1-1 Frequently Asked Questions

WHY DOES THE 9-1-1 DISPATCHER ASK SO MANY QUESTIONS? IF I CALL WITH AN EMERGENCY, TIME IS CRUCIAL. ISN'T THE DISPATCHER WASTING TIME BY ASKING FOR SO MUCH INFORMATION?

9-1-1 dispatchers are trained to ask specific questions to determine the most appropriate response for your emergency.

WHAT IF SOMETHING HAPPENS TO ME AND I CAN'T SPEAK? HOW CAN 9-1-1 HELP ME?

When you dial 9-1-1 from a traditional telephone, one that is wired into a house or other building, the location from which you are calling is displayed on a computer screen in front of the 9-1-1 dispatcher. If you cannot speak, you are ill, or are being kept from talking by an intruder, leave the telephone off the hook. Any noise that we can hear will help us determine the most appropriate response. In cases of domestic violence, the victim often leaves the telephone off the hook and the dispatcher is able to determine the nature of the situation quickly and send the appropriate response.

I HAVE A HEARING IMPAIRMENT AND CANNOT COMMUNICATE OVER A REGULAR TELEPHONE LINE. WHAT SHOULD I DO IF I NEED HELP IN AN EMERGENCY?

9-1-1 dispatchers are trained in the use of a TDD/TTY. It is not necessary to dial a separate number for TTD/TTY calls or to place these calls through a relay service. If you need help, simply dial 9-1-1. The dispatcher will recognize a TTD/TTY call and your call will be handled as quickly and efficiently as calls placed by non-impaired callers.

CAN I CALL 9-1-1 FROM MY CELLULAR TELEPHONE?

Yes. Keep in mind that wireless calls sometimes present special problems for 9-1-1 centers and callers. Calls from wireless phones are answered by the 9-1-1 center closest to the cellular tower that the call is routed through. For example, a call placed to 9-1-1 from outside the city limits might be answered by the City of LaSalle because the cell tower that the caller is closest to is actually in the city. Be aware of this possibility when placing cellular 9-1-1 calls. Your call may take a few extra minutes to be routed to the correct agency.

Something else to remember about wireless 9-1-1 calls is that your location is not automatically displayed like it is from calls placed by traditional phones. Cellular technology does not yet provide for your location to be pinpointed by the 9-1-1 systems. If you are not familiar with your exact location, it is crucial that you give as much information about your surroundings as possible. If you have access to a traditional telephone in an emergency, use it. Although wireless telephone providers, the FCC, and 9-1-1 organizations are working together, we are still a few years away from making cellular 9-1-1 as effective as traditional 9-1-1 services.

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9-1-1 and Cellular Phones

When calling on a cellular phone your location is not readily known.

  • Tell the dispatcher the location of the emergency, your name, and your telephone number. This information is not displayed when calling from a cellular phone.
  • Provide the street the emergency is on along with the closest cross street or intersection. Use landmarks such as mile makers to assist in providing a location if the address is unknown.
  • Be patient. Cellular calls are sometimes routed to the wrong agency. This requires your call to be transferred to the appropriate agency to help you.
  • Stay on the phone until the dispatcher has all the necessary information.
  • Be sure to leave your cellular phone turned on in case there is a need to call you back.

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9-1-1 Don'ts

Don't hang up when you call 9-1-1 in an emergency, in the case of a serious accident or emergency, the 9-1-1 dispatchers can be busy getting information from other callers.

Don't hang up if you dial 9-1-1 accidentally. Dispatchers have to call the numbers back and if no contact is made police officers will be dispatched to your address to ensure your safety.

Don't play with 9-1-1 or make false calls. It is a violation of the law to do so.

Don't call 9-1-1 to ask when the power will be restored during outages or to report power outages.

Don't call 9-1-1 to ask for weather reports or road conditions

Don't call 9-1-1 for school reports such as closings.

Don't call 9-1-1 to ask about scheduled events in the City of Ottawa such as fireworks or the times for Halloween.

Don't call 9-1-1 for directory assistance, 4-1-1 is the correct number.

Don't call 9-1-1 to discuss legal problems, legal issues, or questions on laws.

Don't call 9-1-1 to ask for directions.


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