Family Preparedness: When Should I Call the Police?

There are many ways to contact the police. You can dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, you can dial 608-264-2677 in a non- emergency, and you can stop by the Community Center if I am there or come to the police department at 1429 Monroe St. In this article, I will try to answer the age-old question: “When should I call the Police?”

First, if it is an emergency, dial 9-1-1. What is an emergency? This definition varies from person to person. A guideline
to follow is this: if you see a crime in progress or a fire or someone is injured, these things qualify as emergencies. If you want to know if your car has been towed, or if you need directions somewhere, these do not qualify as emergencies. We usually have one dispatcher on duty at a time and they are responsible for many things and thus, 9-1-1 should be used only for emergencies. I would challenge everyone to think

of possible situations that may occur and decide for yourself if it would be an emergency and what you would do in that situation. This can help you be more prepared for a stressful event and enable you to act quickly and appropriately. The most important thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm.

Unfortunately we deal with many different things from damage to property to theft to vehicle crashes (among other things). First off, please remember to lock your property and do not leave it unattended. However, if your bike or anything else is

taken please call our dispatcher at the non-emergency number (608-264-2677) right away. Our chances of solving crimes are increased when people report an incident right after learning about it. A good rule to follow is if you feel you have been a victim of a crime, call the police. Our officers deal with many crimes and are sensitive to the needs of our community.

The lines of communication begin with you. We can be more effective in responding to problems when we know about them. Please remember, if you see something suspicious or if you feel a crime is being committed, please call right away. You always have the option of remaining anonymous and no one will force you to give your identity when you call. By keeping these issues in mind, we help to ensure each other’s safety and well-being.

UW Dispatch: 608-264-COPS (2677)
City of Madison Police Dispatch:608-255-2345

Officer Terry Evans PortraitIf you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please feel free to call me or email me at:

Officer Terry Evans