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City of Glendale - Police

Cell Phone Users Can Register for Emergency Notifications

Thanks to a regional investment in a new software system, you can register your cell phone or voice-over IP (VoIP) systems to receive emergency notifications. Learn more (pdf) | Register phone at

About Reverse 911

Reverse 911 is a computer system that allows the Glendale Police and Fire Departments to contact homes and businesses with important information or instructions during emergency situations. Glendale Police has used notifications for incidents such as vulnerable missing children and adults, shootings, and HAZMAT incidents. The Reverse 911 system is funded by a homeland security grant for Maricopa County region agencies. When you receive a Reverse 911 call, it will show up on Caller ID as REVERSE 911 with a 480 area code because the phone bank for the system is located in Mesa. Each message will have the option of English or Spanish and will also repeat in TDD tones for the hearing impaired. The program also leaves voice mail messages for those who miss the call. Currently, Reverse 911 is only available to land line phones, but Maricopa County 911 hopes to have the ability to register cell phones to be able to receive these calls in the near future.

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911 Tips

When to call 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 to report any emergency--police, fire or medical. If you need help immediately, call 9-1-1. Don't waste time; call as soon as you think help is needed.

  • Car crash with injury
  • Someone is hurt, bleeding or having difficulty breathing
  • Fire of any type (house, other building or car)
  • When you see a crime occurring or in-progress
  • Dangerous situation such as gas leak or a power line down
  • Someone is drowning

When not to call 9-1-1

Do not call 911 if the problem is not an emergency.  Consult the phone book, the internet, or information for the non-emergency number.  If 911 is called for non-emergencies, service for someone with a real emergency may be delayed.

  • Loud party or music
  • Barking dogs or cats up in a tree
  • To report a crime that did not just occur
  • To ask for general information or directions
  • To report a power outage
  • To check for severe weather reports
  • Glendale non-emergency: 623-930-3000
  • Making a false, fraudulent or unfounded report or statement to law enforcement in Arizona is a crime and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail or a fine of up to $2,500

You called 911 for that?
You won't believe some of the "emergency" calls we receive. Click here to listen to this month's recording, "Sprinkler Emergency."

Stay calm and be clear

Call-takers are trained to get information from you. They have specific questions they are going to ask you to better assist with your call. Listen carefully, and answer as concisely as possible. These questions could include:

  • The exact location of the emergency
  • Your call back number in case they need to re-contact you
  • Your name
  • The nature of the emergency
  • Description of actors/vehicles/weapons

Do not hang up!

There are periods of time that several 911 calls are being received at once. If you hear a message that you have reached 911 do not hang up. If you do not hear a recording or ringing after several seconds, you may hang up and redial. TTY users can press any key after dialing 9-1-1 to indicate that a TTY is being used. However, our operators are trained to treat every "silent" call as a potential TTY call.

What happens if I accidentally dial 911?

Misdials are sometimes experienced on 911. Often many misdials are realized after the number is dialed and the caller will immediately disconnect the line. This is what is commonly referred to as a "911 hang-up". If a connection was made, regardless if the line was not answered by the 911 operator, the PSAP will still receive the call and will take steps to reestablish contact with you, which may include sending an officer to your home. It is very important to remain on the line, even if you realize you misdialed.

You can help by:

  1. Learning the non-emergency telephone numbers to reach help in your area or program them into your cell phone;
  2. Refrain from programming your phone to automatically dial 9-1-1 when one button is pressed;
  3. If your wireless phone came with a preprogrammed, auto-dial 9-1-1, disable it;
  4. Lock your keypad when your phone is not in use, to avoid accidental 9-1-1 calls.

Remember, responders can only respond if they know where they’re going. Make sure you give the location with as much detailed information as possible. In 2013, the Glendale Police Communications Center handled a total of 399,625 incoming phone calls.  152,655 of those were 911 calls, and nearly 77% of all 911 calls came in from cell phones.   With simple advice, you can summon the help you need from your cell phone.

Cell phones and the importance of locations

When you call 911 from a land line phone in most parts of the country, emergency responders can find you -- even if you don't know where you are or can't communicate. That's because calling 911 from a landline (a telephone connected to the lines on the poles) makes a computer in the dispatch center show the number and address of the phone you're using.

Most cellular phones nowadays have Global Positioning System (GPS) capability. However, it is essential that you tell the operator your location for confirmation, or in case your phone is not working properly. Despite popular belief, when a cell phone calls 9-1-1 the address you are calling from never appears on the computer screen.   We often receive latitude and longitude information that can be transferred to a map, however, the accuracy of this can vary greatly. This is why it is so important to tell the operator where you are.

Different emergency services use different dispatch centers. With the right information, the call-taker will transfer you to the right center.

VOIP phones and 911

Portable interconnected VoIP service enables consumers to take their home or business phone service almost anywhere. Because certain interconnected VoIP services are portable, or can be used from virtually any Internet connection anywhere, the location of the caller may not be capable of being determined automatically. If you have a VOIP phone provider, such as Vonage, please visit and review the FAQ and 911 Tips tab for information on how 911 works with this technology.


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