311 Now Taking Calls for DC Police Nonemergencies

To help prioritize calls to 911, nonemergency calls to D.C. police should now be made to 311.

D.C.’s 911 call center got 1.5 million calls in 2018. Twenty percent of those were not emergencies.

Calls to 911 for things like noise complaints and fender benders were put in the same line for an operator as calls for fires or armed robbery.

“This helps us answer those real true emergencies faster,” D.C. Office of Unified Communications Director Karima Holmes said.

In addition to noise complaints and minor traffic accidents, nonemergencies include vandalism, destruction of property and crimes where no one was injured and the suspect is gone.

Continue calling 911 for fires or paramedics.

“If you have a fire emergency — or even if you think its a nonemergency — or EMS, still call 911,” Holmes said. “Let us sort it out, there.”

Texting to 911 and 311 also is an option in the District.

D.C. is the only jurisdiction in the area using 311 for nonemergency police calls. Others have 10-digit numbers:

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