What Constitutes an Emergency?
Beaumont Police Department and Beaumont Fire-Rescue both have dedicated dispatchers trained to answer your call any time, day, or night, and they work 24/7/365 to keep you safe. But there are also instances when the non-emergency line is more appropriate and does not take away resources from other potential life-or-death situations in the community.
In cases of an emergency, 9-1-1 is your best way to get help immediately. If someone’s health, safety or property is in jeopardy or a dangerous crime is in progress, dial 9-1-1. If you are reporting a crime or suspicious activity that has already happened, the non-emergency number is the more appropriate place to file a report.
Circumstances to Call 9-1-1 Immediately:
- Domestic disputes, attacks, gunshots, fires and/or smoke, hazardous car accidents with injuries, or any other medical emergency that is a threat to life or health
- An in-progress crime such as theft, break-in, or vandalism (if there is a suspect on the scene) or to report an impaired driver
- A serious crime that has just occurred (sexual or other assault, robbery, child abduction)
- Medical emergencies like seizures, heart attack, stroke, unconsciousness, etc.
When to Call the Non-Emergency Number:
- Reporting a crime with no suspect, a suspect not on the scene, or a crime with a lengthy delay (an incident that happened at the bar last night, your car was hit, graffiti, etc.)
- Non-emergency police violations (fireworks, a noisy party)
- A suspicious circumstance
What to Expect When You Call 9-1-1
Calls for service are initially answered at the Beaumont Police Department Communications Center at 700 Orleans in the 9-1-1 Operations Center and redirected to the Beaumont Fire-Rescue Communications Center located at Fire Headquarters (400 Walnut, 2nd Floor about the Fire Museum of Texas) in the case of a fire or medical emergency, or hazardous materials. While the dispatcher is on the phone gathering information, they will immediately dispatch any needed patrol or aid. The average response time for in progress Emergency Calls is less than 5 minutes.
All dispatchers are trained call takers, and the first question will always be, “What is the address where the incident occurred, and are you in a safe place?” Many people think that time spent answering questions will delay them from getting help, but while information is being gathered, help is already on the way; it just gives the first responder a fuller picture of what to expect when they arrive on the scene. Vital information are things like description of any persons / vehicles involved, direction of travel of involved parties, presence and type of weapons, and any other information relevant to the emergency. Remember to let the dispatcher ask all their questions and answer every question accurately. Never hang up until the dispatcher tells you it is all right to do so.
Regardless of the type or source, all hang-up, abandoned, or disconnected 9-1-1 calls for service are documented and an attempt will be made to contact the caller. On callback, if there is no emergency, please advise the dispatcher. If no one answers the police will be dispatched.
Even if English is not your first language, you are still encouraged to call emergency services. In our goal to provide emergency services to the entire community, 9-1-1 operators can answer calls in languages other than English with the assistance of a third-party service with translators who speak various languages and will join the call to assist. You will never get in trouble for calling and will never be charged any fees for calling 9-1-1.
Tips to Help the Dispatchers Help You
If you do not know the exact address, you can still give details that help locate you, like names of businesses around your location and recognizable landmarks such as public parks, a school, or a library. They have advanced computer systems that can help locate you whether you call on a land line or cell phone.
If you are ever involved in or witness a vehicle collision, be sure to give details such as the intersection of the accident and the color(s)/make of the vehicle(s) involved. Minor accidents such as fender benders do NOT require a 9-1-1 call when there are no injuries. Only call 9-1-1 if it is a serious accident, the vehicles are disabled in the roadway, fluids are leaking from any involved vehicles, or there are injuries to anyone involved.
If you are calling on behalf of someone else, give as much detail as possible about the emergency. For medical calls information such as patient’s medical history, age, and injury/illness of the current emergency is important.
All calls are recorded and are available through open records requests, compliant with HIPAA regulations for medical calls. To make an open records request, you can call the City Clerk’s office at (409) 880-3745, come in person to the City Clerk’s office at 801 Main Street, Suite #125, fax in your request to (409) 880-3740, mail in your request to 801 Main Street, Suite #125 Beaumont, TX 77701, or fill out your request through our online portal.
When to Call 3-1-1
The 311 Call center is open 7 days a week, from 7 am – 6 pm. After hours, callers will get an auto attendant giving them assorted options for reporting issues.
3-1-1 is your best source for any non-emergency city issues. They handle citizen issues related to potholes, streets/traffic lights, weeds, water/sewer, and animal care. They get called for common issues: abandoned cars, illegal dumping, graffiti, building inspections, loose animals, parks and recreation issues (like a broken splash pad), and garbage pickups. They receive and resolve, on average, 8,000-9,000 calls a month.
While 9-1-1 can locate your exact address just by calling, 3-1-1 is on a different system and needs a lot more qualifying information to assist you. “There’s an animal loose near H-E-B” is not enough directional information. Beaumont 311 is a “One Stop Shop” and is the best way to alert the City of any non-emergency issues.
Non-Emergency Contact Information
Both Beaumont Police and Beaumont Fire-Rescue have non-emergency numbers that will connect you with their dispatch centers. These phone lines are also monitored 24/7.
Beaumont Police Non-Emergency Line: (409) 880-3685
Beaumont Fire-Rescue Non-Emergency Line: (409) 880-3901
For all other calls, questions, and resources, please call 3-1-1