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Naperville
Thursday, May 23, 2024

Focus on Safety – Answering the Call

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Did you know that Naperville’s Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) will answer more than 50,000 emergency 9-1-1 calls along with nearly 200,000 non-emergency calls in a single year? This dedicated group’s truly impactful contribution to our city make it this month’s highlighted unit for the Naperville Police Department’s Safer Naper campaign.

Naperville’s stand-alone dispatch center serves the Naperville Police and Fire departments, Naperville Public Works and Public Utilities, and the Naperville Park District Police. It consists of two sections, Emergency Communications and City Dispatch, both of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

When you do call 9-1-1, our telecommunicators will ask you a variety of questions. These questions are important and help ensure we send the correct resources to the right location. You should be prepared to provide as much of the following information as possible.

WHERE? Where is the incident occurring? Street address? Is it an apartment or a house? On the street? Near what cross street or address? What business on what street and what address?

WHAT? What is happening? What kind of incident is taking place? Is it an accident, a parking problem, a burglary or another type of incident?

WHEN? When did the incident occur? Is it occurring now, did it just happen, or did it happen ten minutes ago, two hours or yesterday?

PERSONAL DESCRIPTION… Start with sex, race, and approximate age of the subject. Then start describing the physical features and clothing from the head down to the feet.

VEHICLE DESCRIPTION… Start with the type of vehicle (car, truck, motorcycle) then give the color, make, model, and approximate year. Also advise if there are any identifiable features such as a vanity license plate, bumper sticker, or markings.

DIRECTION OF TRAVEL… If the vehicle or person has left the scene, the telecommunicator will need to know the direction of travel of the vehicle or suspect. Which direction? On what street? How, on foot or in a vehicle?

If you wish to remain anonymous when you call 9-1-1, that is your right. Just advise the dispatcher of that fact when they ask for your name. There are, however, certain circumstances when further information will be needed.

Let one of our dispatchers (now a supervisor!) explain a little more about what to expect when you call 9-1-1 by watching this YouTube video at www.youtu.be/4GI58GDZuY8.

For more information, visit www.naperville.il.us/asafernaper this September to learn more about our telecommunicators (who dispatch our police and fire departments to emergency calls, among MANY other tasks) and our city dispatchers (who dispatch our public works and utility crews to flooded roadways, electrical outages and other events) and the critical services they provide to the City of Naperville!

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Julie Smith
Julie Smith
Julie Smith is Crime Prevention Specialist at the Naperville Police Department. Contact her at SmithJu@naperville.il.us or (630) 305-5450.

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