The Orleans Parish Communications District (OPCD) is responsible for all emergency and non-emergency calls for police, fire or EMS. However, many people may be unaware on when to use either lines.
The 821-2222 non-emergency number is an important tool that allows anyone to get a response from police, fire or EMS for non-emergency situations. However, OPCD officials have noticed a majority of the calls that come through the 911 line could be handled on the non-emergency number or on other city lines like 311.
"Using the non-emergency line doesn’t mean that your call won’t get answered, but that we can answer calls with a higher priority," said 911 Operations Director Shinar Hayes. "If you lose your cellphone or you leave your purse somewhere and someone picks it up and it happened yesterday, that’s considered a non-emergency because it’s not happening right here and now.”
NOPD Communications Liaison Sgt. Merrell Merricks, who works closely with OPCD, said the non-emergency line is also a great way for anyone in need of making a quick police report.
“If you have a situation where your garbage can was stolen, you can call the non-emergency number,” said Sgt. Merricks. “The agency that handles those incidents wants an item number and a report has to be written.”
Merricks and Hayes encourage all residents to save the city's non-emergency number in their phones for non-emergency questions or concerns.
“You’ll still get a response,” said Hayes. “However, it doesn’t take away from the time of someone with a life or death emergency.”
Sexual assaults and non-violent crimes where evidence is left on scene are also considered high priority calls. In these incidents, callers are encourage to dial 911.
Click here for a full list of services you can also request by dialing 311.