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Non-Emergency Number

Friday, December 5, 2008

Durham 911 Center Debuts Non-Emergency Number
Non-Emergency Number Frees Up 911 Lines for Life Threatening Emergencies

Durham, N.C. – Barking dogs…loud music…burglaries occurring hours or days earlier…vandalism to public or private property.  These are just a few examples of the types of calls that can now be reported to Durham’s new, non-emergency phone number.

The new number, (919) 560-4600, was established by the Durham Emergency Communication Center (DECC) to free up 911 lines for life threatening or in-progress emergencies.  According to Jim Soukup, director of the DECC, the non-emergency number is an ideal way for residents to report events that do not need an immediate response by a public safety agency.
“I have read on community list servs and responded to countless inquiries from citizens who need to report something, such as a stolen flower pot or a barking dog, but don’t know of another way to do so other than using 911,” Soukup said.  “Given the community need for a way to report an event that doesn’t rise to the level of life threatening or in-progress emergencies, we felt a new number to call would be beneficial to ensuring our 911 lines are free for people who need immediate help and our non-emergency line would be ideal for reporting non-emergency problems or concerns.”

According to Soukup, all incidents reported through the non-emergency line are tracked the same as if the call was received on the 911 lines.  “All calls received on the non-emergency line are still received directly into the DECC,” Soukup said.  “We still track the information and report it as normal to the appropriate agency.  However, the 911 lines take precedent and by citizens using the non-emergency line for these types of incidents and events, the 911 lines remain open for people who do have life-threatening emergencies.  Of course, if anyone is ever in doubt as to which number to call, they should use 911.”

For more information about the DECC or the new, non-emergency phone number, contact Soukup by e-mail or at (919) 560-4191.

About Durham Emergency Communications Center
The Durham Emergency Communications Center (DECC) is dedicated to promoting, preserving, and protecting the safety and security of all citizens in Durham. The DECC provides 24-hour, seven-day-a-week 911 access to citizens and user agencies in and around Durham County. Services include emergency and non-emergency requests as well as dispatch for police, fire, EMS, and other City/County support agencies. To learn more, visit the website.