Reporting Emergencies

Reporting Emergencies

911 or (916) 714-5111

Emergencies include crimes in progress or about to happen and situations that have resulted in serious injury or significant property damage and loss. Emergencies also include situations where the suspect may still be at the scene and some suspicious activities.

By calling 9-1-1, you will be linked to the appropriate police agency, as well as emergency fire and medical services. You do not need money to call 9-1-1 from a payphone. Teach your children how to use 9-1-1

If you call 9-1-1 by mistake, stay on the line and advise the dispatcher. Whether you call 9-1-1 on purpose or by accident, the dispatcher will receive your caller information even if you terminate the call before the line is answered. The dispatcher will immediately call you back and inquire if an emergency exists. If the line is busy, the dispatcher will have an operator interrupt your call so that he/she may determine if there is an emergency at your residence or business. If the line is not answered when the dispatcher attempts to call, an officer will be dispatched to the address from which the call originated to "check the welfare" of the residence or business.

When you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone in Elk Grove, you will usually reach the Elk Grove Police Department, but may be connected with the California Highway Patrol. In order to reach the Elk Grove Police Department directly, dial (916) 714-5111.

Some examples of emergencies are:

  • Shootings, stabbings, fights, sexual assaults, etc. that are in progress or just occurred
  • Homicides
  • Any in progress crime
  • Sounds of gunshots, followed by screaming, barking dogs, breaking glass, explosions, alarms, etc.
  • Hit and run accidents with possible injuries
  • Vehicle collisions with injuries
  • Armed vehicles
  • Road hazards that require immediate attention to prevent injuries or property damage
  • Missing juveniles or missing adults who are "at risk". Be sure to tell the dispatcher if the person needs medication, has Alzheimer's or a mental condition or is suicidal

Additionally, call 9-1-1 to report the following persons:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Entering a neighbor's home when the neighbor is away
  • Forcing entry of a home, business or vehicle
  • Exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms that pose a danger to themselves or others
  • Removing property from a business, home or vehicle, especially if the business is closed or the residents are away
  • Carrying or wearing bloody clothing
  • Exhibiting a weapon
  • Struggling with a resisting child
  • Trying or attempting to pick up a person by force, especially a child or female.

The ability of police to locate and arrest criminals often depends on the thoroughness and accuracy of the information submitted. When reporting both emergencies and non-emergencies, expect to be asked for the following information:

  • Type of crime: who's doing what to whom?
  • Location: where is this happening or did happen?
  • Time of occurrence: is this happening now or is it over?
  • Weapons used
  • Number of people hurt and types of injuries
  • Vehicles used: type, license plate, color, year, model, make, number of people in car, anything unusual (dents, stickers), which way did they go?
  • Suspect information: race, gender, age, height, weight, hair color, hair length and style, facial hair, clothing type and color, other identifying characteristics (tattoos, scars, missing teeth, glasses) and which way did they go?

Have an emergency but can’t talk? Don’t forget, the Elk Grove Police Department Communications Center offers the capability to text 911. This service should only be used when voice communication poses a significant safety risk, or you cannot make a call due to service connection. This service is also beneficial to those members of our community who are hearing or speech impaired.

If you have an emergency and need to text for help, enter 911 into the “To” field. Add your message but be brief. Provide the location and the nature of your emergency. Do not text photos or videos. Be ready to answer follow up questions so an appropriate response can be coordinated.

Some helpful tips when using Text to 911 service include:

  • Always provide the exact location of the emergency
  • Don’t use abbreviations, emojis, or slang
  • Texts can only be received in English at this time – additional languages will be available in the future
  • No group texting
  • Only call 911 in the event of an emergency and only text 911 when calling is absolutely NOT an option
  • “Call if you can – text if you can't!”
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