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WATCH: NOPD Informs Public on Best Practices for Using Non-Emergency Line

by Ambria R. Washington

August 3, 2017

Categories: Announcement, Videos

Topics: Districts, Partnerships

 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. 

WATCH: NOPD Informs Public on Best Practices for Using Non-Emergency Line 

"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.