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Emergencies and Public Safety FAQ

How do I contact police/court for issues such as parking tickets, traffic tickets, city warrants, towed automobiles, accident reports, animal pickup?

For these issues, you can contact your local Police Department or the City of Lawrence's Municipal Court/City Prosecutor at:

Baldwin City Police Department

Eudora Police Department

If I call 911, what will they ask me?

1) What is the location of the emergency? This is the address where the emergency is actually happening. If you do not know the actual address, tell the dispatcher. They may ask the following:

  • Cross streets or a "hundred block".
  • Provide landmarks, business names or parks near the emergency.
  • Look at the house numbers in the area.
  • If you are calling from inside a home or business, look on a piece of mail.

2) When asked for a location, we need you to be specific.

If I call to report a fire, what should I tell the dispatcher?

You should be prepared to answer questions like these:

  • Where is the fire?
  • What is on fire?
  • How large is the fire?
  • Are any structures threatened? Are there flames moving close to any homes, buildings or gas tanks?
  • Do you know if anyone is inside the housing or building?
  • Do you know if anyone is hurt?

While you are answering these questions, the dispatcher is also alerting the appropriate fire stations or another co-worker is alerting the appropriate fire stations and getting help on the way. 
 

When I call 911, why do I get asked to hold on?

The same dispatchers who answer the 911 calls also answer the non-emergency calls for service for all law enforcement agencies in Douglas County. When the dispatch center is busy, the dispatchers have to ask non-emergency callers to hold on while they answer the 911 calls. Every effort is made to get back to you as quickly as possible, and your patience and understanding is appreciated. 

When should I call 911?

911 is for emergencies or things that could become emergencies.

  • Is there a threat to life or property?
  • Are you or someone else the victim of a crime?
  • Do you have a police emergency?
  • Do you or someone else have a medical emergency?
  • Do you need the fire department?

If the situation seems urgent and has the potential to become dangerous, call 911. Dispatchers will determine whether your call should be handled by 911 or can be transferred to another person or agency. All other calls should be directed the non-emergency numbers. 

Why do the dispatchers ask so many question when I call 911?

Emergency dispatchers need to get accurate information to allow officers to make the best decision on how to approach the situation. Dispatchers handling fire and paramedic calls must also consider the well-being of the public and the safety of the firefighters and paramedics. Callers will be asked:

  • Where
  • What
  • Who
  • When
  • (maybe) Why

The information you provide a dispatcher is relayed to responding officers, paramedics or firefighters while they are on their way to the call.

Why do the dispatchers ask so many questions on medical calls?

The ECC also implemented an Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) Program in December 2004. The EMD protocols allow dispatchers to provide valuable medical pre-arrival and dispatch life support instructions to callers while an ambulance is responding to the location. Every Communications Officer must maintain EMD certification, which includes an initial 24 hour class, followed by continuing education requirements for recertification every 2 years.