Calling 911

In 2018, the Sheriff's Office 911 Communication Center received 30,450 calls that were 911 related.

When to Call 911

911 is to be used only in emergency situations. An emergency is any situation that requires immediate assistance from the police/sheriff, the fire department or an ambulance. If you are ever in doubt of whether a situation is an emergency you should call 911. It's better to be safe and let the 911 dispatcher determine if you need emergency assistance.

Do not call 911 for:

  • Information
  • When the power is out
  • Legal advice
  • To see if it really works
  • To get a ride for a doctor's appointment
  • For road/travel information
  • For your pet
  • As a prank

It is a prank call when someone calls 911 for a joke or calls 911 and hangs up. If 911 lines or dispatchers are busy with prank calls, someone with a real emergency may not be able to get the help they need. In most cases, it's against the law to make prank 911 calls.

Children & 911

Teach your children how to call 911. Be sure they know what 911 is for, how to dial from your home and your cell phone and to trust the 911 dispatcher. Make sure your child is physically able to reach at least 1 phone in your home. When calling 911, your child needs to know their name, parent's name, telephone number, and most importantly, their address. Tell them to answer all of the dispatcher's questions.

Who Pays for 911

In Minnesota, 911 fees are added to your wire-line and wireless phone bills. This funding is collected by the state and is used to update technologies that process 911 calls. Part of this funding is also provided to local county PSAPs (Public Safety Answering Points) to also update their technologies, provide training to staff and purchase equipment.