9-1-1 is the number set aside by telephone companies throughout the United States to put you in touch with emergency aid agencies. In Chicago, all emergency communications for the City are located in a new state-of-the-art facility, the Chicago Emergency Communications Center.

An emergency is any situation involving a crime in progress, or an imminent threat to life, bodily injury, or major property damage or loss. A home burglary in progress, a man with a gun on the street, or a traffic accident with serious injuries are all examples of police emergencies.

For 9-1-1 purposes, the City is divided into 13 radio zones. Calls to 9-1-1 are automatically routed to the proper zone depending on where the call originated.

To make an emergency call in Chicago:

  • Dial the numbers 9-1-1 on your telephone. A call taker will answer the call and write down the information you provide.
    Note: For persons who speak languages other than English, the AT&T Language Line provides interpreters in more than 140 languages.
  • Remain calm-speak slowly and clearly.
  • Explain what type of emergency you are reporting. If the crime is taking place while you are calling, tell the call taker the incident is in progress.
  • The call taker will request your name. However, you do not have to identify yourself when reporting a crime, unless you yourself are the victim of the crime.
  • Give your location, if it is different from the scene of the emergency.
    Note: In some instances, you may not want the police to come to your home or otherwise identify you as the person who made the call. Expressly tell the call taker if you do not want the police to come to your home.
  • Give the phone number you are calling from.
  • Stay on the line, while the call taker passes your information to the dispatcher, in case there is additional information or instructions.