Even the cops tell you to call 911 for noise issues

Call it coincidence or bad timing, but the question of when to call 911 is not new in Dallas.

The answer is still the same - Anytime you have a problem which will require a police officer to issue a citation or take further action.

BD's readers have pointed him to the Ask A Cop column in the Lakewood Advocate Magazine June 2006 edition. This month's column, written by NE DPD Division Chief Jan Easterling, focused on the 911 issue.

BD is well aware that this edition was prepared way before the controversy on Lower Greenville took shape.

Ask A Cop, Advocate Magazine June 2006

In the case of an emergency, call 911. The instruction has been reiterated to us for decades, so much that we'd have trouble forgetting this three-digit combo even in the direst of situations. But what qualifies as an emergency? Does the loud party next door keeping me awake warrant a call to the police? What if I think I hear gunshots, but can't pinpoint where? Instead of taking time to ponder these questions in criminal and possibly dangerous situations, know the facts about 911.

Question: Is there a number to call for more minor crimes?

No. 911 is what you call no matter what. Anything from loud music to seeing someone get shot. But what we do ask is if it's a recurring issue - such as your neighbors playing loud music every night of the week - is that you call the station to ask to speak to a supervisor for our ICP (Interactive Community Policing) unit.

Is there ever a time when residents waste police officers' time by calling 911?

That is why we have the call prioritization system. If somebody's life is in danger, or if somebody is in immediate harm, those calls are moved to the top of the list. Calls are not dispatched in order of when they come in; they are dispatched in order of what's going on.

Obviously, we want to get to somebody who's in harm's way immediately. But if a loud music call comes in, and there are no higher priorities, then it would get dispatched as it comes in.

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By Avi S. Adelman under Neighborhoods , Safe streets