New number connects callers to non-emergency police, fire, and medical assistance
South Sound 911 has a new non-emergency phone number: 253-287-4455.
This number – or its in-state toll-free counterpart, 800-562-9800 – should be called instead of 911 when the situation does not require immediate police, fire, or medical response. Using the non-emergency line helps keep 911 available for true emergencies – imminent threats to life or property, or in-progress crimes.
Example situations where the non-emergency line is appropriate include:
- Burglary which occurred while you were away and there is no suspect or threat of danger
- Vandalism that is not in-progress
- Fireworks complaints
Certain non-emergency incidents may even be reported online, depending on the jurisdiction in which it occurred.
When in doubt, South Sound 911 recommends calling 911, or texting 911 when appropriate.
“Calling 911 is what sends the cavalry – lights and sirens – to the most tragic life-or-death emergencies; we just ask that the public help us keep 911 available for those who need it most urgently,” South Sound 911 Executive Director Deborah Grady said. “Our call takers are highly trained to assist callers with their particular situation and triage calls for service, so it is certainly okay to call 911 if you’re unsure of which number to call.”
In 2020, South Sound 911 answered 356,314 calls on the non-emergency line and 527,033 calls from 911 lines on behalf of 38 local police and fire agencies in Pierce County. The agency does not collect data regarding the number of 911 calls which would have been more appropriate for the non-emergency line.
The new non-emergency number replaces 253-798-4721; that line is phasing out over the next several months, along with the agency’s other departmental and staff phone numbers. South Sound 911 recommends adding the 253-287-4455 non-emergency number to contact lists before the old line is discontinued. New departmental and staff phone numbers are available on South Sound 911’s website.
The new phone numbers launched in advance of the agency’s move to a new facility in Tacoma. The new facility will consolidate South Sound 911 services and its four current locations under one roof.
Kris McNamar, community relations manager