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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Save 911 for emergencies: a guide to using non-emergency numbers

Apr 03, 2024 02:54PM ● By Grand Junction Police Department

In an emergency, such as a fall requiring medical attention or someone breaking into your home, prompt assistance is just a phone call away. 

While most people know to dial 911 in urgent situations, there’s often confusion about how to report non-emergency matters. Many requests to 911 do not involve true emergencies, which overloads the 911 system with non-emergency calls. 


Dial 911 and the first words you’ll hear will be, “911, what’s the address of your emergency?” 

Dispatchers are trained to assist you swiftly and effectively, but first there is some information they need from you. 

They will ask for the location of the incident, descriptions of individuals or vehicles involved and other relevant details to ensure the appropriate response. 

If you don’t know the exact location, the dispatcher will ask questions to help describe to responders where the emergency is taking place. Please give an address, intersection, mile marker, or in the case of a wilderness area or park area, your location such as a trail or landmark.

For medical emergencies, dispatchers will ask about the patient’s condition in order to properly prepare paramedics. You’ll be asked questions about the patient’s age, awake and breathing status, and then a few questions about the patient’s symptoms. 

While you’re on the line, a dispatcher will simultaneously dispatch emergency services, ensuring no delay in response. If necessary, they will stay on the line and coach you through critical interventions like bleeding control or CPR until help arrives.

Only call 911 when a person or property is in immediate danger.

Examples of when to call 911 include:
  • A fire
  • A crime, especially one in progress
  • A car accident, especially if someone is injured
  • A medical emergency, especially for symptoms that require immediate medical attention


For non-emergency police assistance, call the dispatch number for your area which is available 24/7:

  • Mesa County 970-242-6707
  • Delta County 970-874-2015
  • Montrose County 970-249-9110
Using the non-emergency number keeps 911 available for true emergencies. 
  • Examples of when to call non-emergency dispatch:
  • Scams
  • Suspicious activity in your neighborhood
  • Extra patrol request or vacation watch
  • Littering
  • Burglaries that have already occurred (not in progress)
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Abandoned vehicles
  • Tampering
  • Traffic complaint


Grand Junction Police Department also provides an online reporting portal, allowing you to file a police report at your convenience. Reports are reviewed by an officer, and you can print a copy for free once completed. Depending on the nature of your report, an officer may follow up with you.

You may file a police report online if the following are true:
  • The incident is not an emergency.
  • It does not involve a violent crime or domestic violence.
  • No evidence was left behind by the suspect.
  • The incident occurred within Grand Junction city limits
  • You have a valid email address.

To report online, go to

If your incident does not meet the online reporting criteria, please call dispatch at 970-242-6707 to file your report with an officer.