What Happens When You Call 911

When you dial 911 in California, the dispatcher can, in most cases, see the address and number of the phone you are calling from on a special viewing screen. The dispatcher will still ask for the location, in case you are calling from a different place than the emergency. By looking at the address on the viewing screen, the dispatcher can begin to send help to you while you are answering questions.

If you call 911 by accident, do not hang up. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right. If you don't, the dispatcher may think that something is wrong and send a police officer.

If a crime has taken place, you can help the police by remembering what the suspects looked like; what clothing they wore; whether they had any body markings like scars or tattoos; and what kind of car they drove, including the license plate number.