Not every criminal incident is an emergency that requires an immediate police response. So not every call to the police needs to go through 9-1-1. In fact, non-emergency calls to 9-1-1 can slow the police response to true emergencies and can reduce the time that beat officers have to work with the community on solving longer-range problems on their beats.
That's why the City of Chicago established a flexible telephone system for people to report non-emergency situations to the police. The police non-emergency number is 3-1-1. The TDD/TTY non-emergency number is also 3-1-1.
A non-emergency incident is one that does not involve a crime in progress; does not pose an imminent threat to life, bodily injury or major property damage or loss; and does not require the immediate dispatch of a police unit.
Non-emergencies include crimes such as pickpocketing, theft from an automobile, deceptive practices, criminal damage to property, garage burglary, auto theft and other offenses in which the offender is no longer at the scene.
The police non-emergency number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The system is staffed by members of the Police Department's Alternate Response Program, which is located in an upgraded facility near the new Chicago Emergency Communications Center.
For your convenience, the police non-emergency number provides the following options. You can:
- Ask a question concerning police services.
- File a police report immediately over the telephone. This option is especially convenient for cases such as minor damage to, or theft of, property.
- Make an appointment to file a police report.
- Speak directly to desk personnel at your police district station. This option is useful for passing along information to or trying to contact your beat officers or other district personnel.
The Alternate Response Program does not take reports of homicides, missing persons, or sex offenses. These must always be phoned in to 9-1-1.