How to Report an Emergency

For emergencies, including crimes in progress, fires, and medical emergencies dial 9-1-1

For non-emergency Fire dispatch dial 310-458-8660. 

For non-emergency Police dispatch dial 310-458-8491.

Dial 9-1-1 from a landline or cell phone if you need police, firefighters or an ambulance. Do not hang up on an accidental 9-1-1 call. Inform the dispatcher the call was an accident before you hang up. 

  1. Dial 9-1-1

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    Be ready to provide critical information. Provide the location of the emergency, the phone number you are calling from, and a description of the emergency situation. If you don't know your location, look for landmarks, cross street signs or buildings. Do your best to stay calm when providing information.

  2. Listen and answer all the dispatcher's questions.

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    You will be asked questions about weapons, vehicle/suspect descriptions and medical injuries. Each question serves an important purpose in protecting public and first responder safety. 

  3. Stay on the line throughout the entire call.

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    Hang up only when the dispatcher informs you to do so. Call back if the situation changes.

Call if you can; text if you are unable to speak or fearful of making a call. Text to 9-1-1 if you need emergency or urgent assistance from police, firefighters or paramedics. Never text and drive.

  1. Use your cell phone to text 9-1-1 like you would any other phone number.

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    On your cellular phone's SMS application, create a new message. Type 9-1-1 in the '"TO" field. In the message field, enter the location of the emergency and the type of help needed (Police, Fire or Medical) in the first text field. Press SEND.

  2. A 9-1-1 dispatcher will text you back. Answer all questions to your best ability.

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    Be prepared to provide your name and more information about the emergency situation. Use simple language. Do not use acronyms as they can be confused with a business, hospital or school. At this time, you are unable to send photos or video to dispatchers via text message. 

  3. The dispatcher will inform you when the text conversation has concluded.

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    Dispatchers may not restore or initiate a text session. Call or text 9-1-1 back if the situation changes.

  4. For more information, watch "How to Text 9-1-1 FAQ" video

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TTY users may dial 9-1-1 directly. The phone system utilized by Santa Monica dispatchers has TTY equipment integrated and should notify the dispatcher that the call is from a TTY device.

  1. California Relay (7-1-1)

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    California Relay (7-1-1) is a free, state funded service that provides confidential phone conversations for TTY users. Simply dial 7-1-1 from your TTY enabled device and the 711 Communications Assistant (CA) will assist you from there in completing the call to our dispatch center. You will need to provide them our phone number 310-458-8911 to expedite the connection. The CA will relay messages between the TTY user and the Santa Monica dispatcher. California Relay is compatible with TTY, Hearing Carry Over (HCO) and Voice Carry Over (VCO) devices. For more information on California Relay visit the Using California Relay Service website.  

  2. Be prepared to provide critical information.

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    Provide the location of the emergency, the phone number you are calling from and a description of the emergency situation. If you don't know your location, look for landmarks, cross street signs or buildings.

  3. Answer the dispatcher's questions.

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    You will be asked questions about weapons, vehicle/suspect descriptions and medical injuries. Each question services serves an important purpose in protecting public and first responder safety.

  4. Stay on the line.

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    Disconnect only when the dispatcher instructs you to. 

Dial or text 9-1-1 with a landline or cell phone if you need police, firefighters or an ambulance. Provide the location of the emergency if you can. If you do not speak English tell the dispatcher your preferred language.

  1. If you do not speak English tell the dispatcher immediately.

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    You will be connected to a bilingual dispatcher or connected to a translation service. Stay on the line as the dispatcher connects to an interpreter.

  2. When the interpreter is connected, the dispatcher will ask you emergency questions.

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    The dispatcher will ask you emergency questions and the interpreter will translate the emergency questions in your language. The dispatcher may ask you to repeat back information to understand it was translated correctly. 

  3. Stay on the line throughout the entire call.

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    Hang up only when the dispatcher and interpreter inform you to do so. Call back if the situation changes.