When to Call 911

Call 9-1-1 when it is an emergency and a prompt response is needed. Call 9-1-1 if it is a life-threatening situation or something is occurring at the time of the call. Fire, medical problems, assault, fight, traffic accident or any situation that could result in loss of life or major property loss should be called in to 9-1-1.

When You Call 9-1-1
When you call 9-1-1, a call taker will ask: "where is your emergency". You will be asked questions which the call takers are trained to ask. Questions could include:
  • What is your emergency?
  • What is the location of the emergency?
  • Where are you calling from?
  • What is your name?
Please do not assume that the call taker has this information in the computer. All facts need to be verified to ensure prompt response.

Stay on the Line
While you are on the phone with the call taker, he/she can send your call to the dispatcher. Staying on the line does not interfere with the ability of the call taker to dispatch help and it will not delay the response.

The call taker may need you to stay on the line to help direct emergency personnel to the right location or to provide additional assistance that can help ensure your emergency is handled correctly. If it is possible, do not hang up the phone until the 9-1-1-call taker says it is okay to hang up.

When to Call the Non-Emergency Number
The non-emergency number for the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department is 765-423-9321, which you can dial 24 hours a day for non-emergency help. Using the non-emergency number keeps the 9-1-1 lines available for true emergencies. 9-1-1 call takers receive non-emergency and emergency calls often, most frequently the call is from someone wanting to report a crime which occurred a few hours, or even days ago.

Some examples of events when you should call 765-423-9321 for the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department is:
  • Life or property is not in immediate danger
  • Your runaway child has returned home
  • You need to add additional information to a report already worked by Law Enforcement
9-1-1 Calls From Businesses
9-1-1 works the same from any phone line. However, if the business has a private switchboard (PBX) the call may originate from one of several different buildings or floors. An example of this might be a bank with multiple branches, or a municipal government with multiple administrative office buildings. The information displayed on the 9-1-1 screens will show the location of the switchboard. The 9-1-1 call-taker will ask the caller for specific location information, such as which building or floor and room.

Hearing Impaired 9-1-1 Callers
All 9-1-1 PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) in the state of Indiana are required to have TDD capability for communication with hearing and speech-impaired persons. Each console is equipped to answer calls from the Hearing Impaired public.

Cellular Phones
Cellular phones can call 9-1-1 as a free call. Limited location information is provided; therefore the dispatcher is dependent upon the caller to provide location information, roadway, direction of travel, etc.