Gwinnett Police give PSA on when and how to call the 911 Center

press release from gwinnett county police department

(Lawrenceville, Ga., Aug. 3, 2023) – Those who work in 911 Centers nationwide are often called the firstfirst responders. The 911 call-takers answer many calls, from traffic accidents to medical issues and shoplifting to assault crimes, just to name a few. The men and women working in your 911 Center are available to members of the community 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days every year. 

Below is a helpful guide that outlines when to dial 911, when to dial the non-emergency number, when to call the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, police or the fire department, 911 Don’ts, cell phone dialing, helpful numbers, and Did You Know.

When to dial 911

Residents should dial 911 to report any incident that requires immediate dispatch of police, fire, or an ambulance.

  • Medical Emergency
  • Fire
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents
  • Suspicious Vehicles or persons
  • To report incidents of auto theft, burglary, rape, arson, assault, robbery, shoplifting, disturbances, theft, domestic violence, fights, missing persons, shootings, stabbings, destruction of property, and all crimes in progress or just occurred
  • To report road hazards, drunk or reckless drivers, wires down, tornados, etc.

When to dial the non-emergency number: 770.513.5700

The residents of Gwinnett County may call the non-emergency number 770.513.5700 to report non-urgent incidents that require a police response, such as loud music, lost wallets, cell phones and passports, non-violent animal complaints, etc. The same dispatchers who answer the 911 calls also answer the non-emergency number, so be patient; 911 calls will be answered first, then the non-emergency phone.  

When to directly call the Sheriff, Police, or Fire Departments

Residents should contact their local agencies at their regular number for information or administrative calls such as:

  • Sheriff:  Contact the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office at 770.619.6500 when requesting information on someone who was arrested recently, bond information, prisoners, warrants, and the civil process. To obtain a TPO, contact Magistrate Court at 770.822.8100 (Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) and 770.619.6709 (after hours and on weekends)
  • Police:  Contact the Gwinnett County Police Switchboard at 770.513.5000 when requesting information on towed vehicles, obtaining copies of reports, traffic ticket information, etc. Open Records can be contacted at 770.513.5250.
  • Fire/EMS:  Contact Gwinnett County Fire Department at 678.518.4800 when requesting information on burning permits, inspections and billing questions, and educational presentations. 

911 Don’ts:

  • Don’t hang up when you call 911 in an emergency. If you get a recording, stay on the line until the dispatcher answers. Hanging up will only delay the answering of your call further.
  • Don’t call 911 to ask when the power will be restored during outages or to report power outages. Call your power company. 
  • Don’t call 911 to ask for weather reports.
  • Don’t call 911 for school reports such as closings.
  • Don’t call 911 to ask about scheduled events in Gwinnett County, such as fireworks or the times of trick-or-treating on Halloween.
  • Don’t hang up if you dial 911 accidentally. Dispatchers have to call the numbers back, and if no contact is made, a police officer will be dispatched to your address to ensure your safety.
  • Don’t play with 911 or make false calls. It is a violation of the law to do so.
  • Don’t call 911 to request directory assistance. 411 is the correct number.
  • Don’t call 911 to arrange ambulance transportation to a scheduled medical appointment.
  • Don’t call 911 to discuss legal problems, legal issues, or questions on laws.
  • Don’t call 911 to ask for directions.

Cell phone Dialing

  • When calling from a cell phone, the operator will initially see the location of the cell tower your phone is using to route the call to the 911 center, not your exact location.
  • Listen to the dispatcher’s questions. Attempt to get the location before you call. Provide your name and your telephone number.
  • If an exact address is unavailable, provide the street the emergency is on along with the closest cross street or intersection. Use landmarks such as mile markers to assist in providing a location.
  • Be patient. Cellular calls are sometimes routed to a different agency depending on the cell tower your phone uses to handle your phone call. If this happens, you may be transferred to another public safety agency in order to receive the correct response to the incident.
  • Stay on the phone until the dispatcher has all the necessary information.
  • Be sure to leave your cellular phone turned on in case there is a need to call you back.

Helpful Numbers:

  • Gwinnett Police Non-Emergency Number: 770.513.5700
  • Records and reports: 770.513.5000
  • Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office: 770.619.6500 (jail records, bond, civil papers, etc)
  • Burn Ban line: 678.518.4979 
  • Animal Control: 770.339.3200 (adopting an animal, barking dogs, etc)
  • DNR/Forestry: 770.535.5700 or after hours 800.241.4113 (reports of bears, coyote, etc)
  • Gwinnett County Water Department: 678.376.7000 ( fire hydrants, water leaking)
  • Magistrate Court: 770.822.8100 (TPOs, etc)
  • Recorders Court: 770.619.6100 (Ticket questions)
  • Gwinnett Justice and Administration Center: 770.822.8000 (courthouse civil issues)
  • Poison Control: 800.222.1222             

Did you know?

  • When you call 911 you get the local police department. If you need an out-of-state number, call 411 to get the number to that police department.
  • Any phone working or disconnected can call 911 as long as the battery is charged. Please do not give these to children to play with.
  • It is very easy to pocket-dial 911. Please lock your phone. You can also turn off the automatic emergency call feature on your phone so it does not accidentally dial 911.
  • It is a state law to move your vehicles out of the road if they are moveable to avoid another accident if there is no apparent serious injury or death. Please move out of the road, get your location, and then call 911 if no one is injured. 
  • The same operators that answer 911 also answer the non-emergency lines. There might be a delay on the non-emergency lines due to answering 911 calls first. Please be patient and do not hang up to call 911.
  • 911 operators are skilled in asking specific questions to get help started quickly. These questions are necessary and do not cause a delay in the appropriate dispatch of police or fire personnel being sent. A dispatcher will send help while the 911 operator is still getting more information.

Our Mission Statement says: The Gwinnett County Police Department is committed to serving the community through the delivery of professional law enforcement services in an unbiased and compassionate manner in order to protect the lives and property of the citizens and improve the quality of life in our community.

Have you ever considered working in the 911 Center? If so, please apply at Come start your career at the Gwinnett County Police Department and join the ranks of the other first first responders.

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