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Barking dogs? Loud music? Durham debuts non-emergency number

Posted December 5, 2008

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— Barking dogs, loud music, burglaries that happened hours or days earlier, vandalism to public or private property – these are just a few examples of the types of calls that can now be reported to Durham’s new non-emergency phone number.

The Durham Emergency Communication Center set up the new number, 919-560-4600, to free up 911 lines for life-threatening or in-progress emergencies.

“I have read on community list servs and responded to countless inquiries from citizens who need to report something, such as a stolen flower pot or a barking dog, but don’t know of another way to do so other than using 911,” said Jim Soukup, director of the DECC.

All incidents reported through the non-emergency line are tracked the same as if the call was received on the 911 lines, according to Soukup.

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  • bilbobag99 Dec 5, 2008

    Also, if you want to get the police to really shut down a loud party, all you have to do it call a second time about 60 seconds after you see the officer leave the party, having delivered his first warning. If he has to turn around and come back, he will really read them the riot act. Trust me. I know from experience.

  • bilbobag99 Dec 5, 2008

    Raleigh does have a non-emergency number that goes into the Raleigh Police Operations Center. I don't know the number, but if you look in the phone book for Animal Control, it actually is the Operations Center.

  • MyNameIsMud Dec 5, 2008

    "I think this is a great idea, and I wish Raleigh would do the same. 911 is a victim of its own success."

    There is (or was) a non-emegency police number in Raleigh. Or you can call the number for dispatch in your district.

    I used the non-emergency number for loud music more than once.

    Now if Raleigh or Wake Co. would ONLY get serious about noise complaints, music, and parties and implement heavy fines.

  • iron fist Dec 5, 2008

    I would call the sheriffs office if I needed the police and it was not life threating but the new # is a good idea

  • k9sandQtrs Dec 5, 2008

    great idea! 911 needs to be reserved for life threatening situations.

  • meh2 Dec 5, 2008

    Hope they hire some operators who speak and understand standard English - that is a real problem in Durham.

  • freetospeak Dec 5, 2008

    This is a good idea! However, don't expect the police to show up when you have neighbors stomping on the floor and playing loud music at 2am, they'll just say they had more pressing matters and usually the noise has stopped by the time they get there, but your sleep will still go interrupted...

  • ThisIsMyName Dec 5, 2008

    I agree, I think this is a great idea! I hope Durham puts something in the water bill about it and makes it very visible. A refigerator magnet with the number on it would be cool. :-)

  • Lone Voice in the Wilderness Dec 5, 2008

    I think this is a great idea, and I wish Raleigh would do the same. "911" is a victim of its own success.

    I would like to see it be "311," though. I still remember Bill Clinton promoting it by saying: "If there is urgency but no emergency: dial 311."

  • anneonymousone Dec 5, 2008

    Excellent idea! Calls about after-hours traffic light malfunctions go through the police, for example, but do not need to compete for attention with 911 calls.

    I'll put it in my cell phone ASAP.