*TIPS FOR CALLING 911 WITH AN ABUSER HOME*
So I’ve been a 911 dispatcher for 5 years, and I’ve been on both sides of the 911 calls – as both a caller and a domestic violence victim. Here are a few tips for if you find yourself calling 911 and your abuser is there:
1- THERE IS NO SECRET PIZZA ORDERING CODE. HOWEVER, any trained dispatcher will ask you if you know you’ve called 911, and if you say you know and repeat yourself we will catch on. We then can tailor the questions however needed to get information we need and get help there quickly.
2- you can call 911 and not say anything if u need to. Most centers have to send someone every single time 911 is called even if it’s an accident. Also, I’ve had multiple victims call 911 while arguing and not say anything but we could hear the scuffle. We are trained to listen to background noise. I recently had a victim call with her phone in her lap and she said “why would u choke me tho will?” And then he begged her not to tell anyone. With the line open, I traced the call and found it came to an apartment building. I started officers to that building and then cross referenced the phone number and the name will and found out what apartment they were in. He was arrested on multiple charges.
3- if your state has text to 911 – the mapping system is not that great yet. If you have to text 911 in the very first text tell us your address with apartment number and city, state along with your name and what you need. This could be as simple as “123 main st Southtown MI Juliet Bee domestic” that way if something happens between that first text and the second, we are at least on our way. We can figure the rest out when we get there but help is already on it’s way.
4- most dispatchers have a partner working with them. So just because you haven’t heard us send help yet, doesn’t mean they aren’t on their way. What happens is i take the call and as you’re giving me your address I’m typing it into the computer. Then you say it’s a domestic. So I type domestic and hit “save”. Then while I’m getting the back story and finding out if there’s any weapons or injuries, my coworker is sending out help to you.
5- if something happens and you can no longer talk – IF ITS SAFE TO DO SO – just put the phone down but don’t hang up. Like I said we are trained to listen to background noise. If u put the phone down and leave the line open and someone starts beating you up, we can relay that to the responders and they will speed up to get to you. But if you hang up we no longer have ears in the room. Also, all 911 calls are recorded and by law we are required to keep the recordings for a certain number of years. This means that if you’re bringing charges against someone and they are beating you up on that open 911 line, that works in your favor for court.
Finally, I know calling is scary, and sometimes it seems like dispatchers don’t have sympathy or the officers on scene aren’t sympathetic. We are, and our hearts hurt for you. But we have to remain professional and objective to every situation. If you have any questions about 911, feel free to comment below and ask me. 🙂🙂