Frequently Asked Questions
If you have further questions, please feel free to use the Contact Us Form!

What is 911?

911 is the public's lifeline for police, fire and medical services in Blount County. The 911 number should be used to request emergency services from the agencies inside of Blount County. A 911 call is toll-free and is accessible through residential, wireless and pay telephones throughout the area.


Who answers 911 calls?

All calls to 911 are answered by trained Public Safety Telecommunicators (PST) at the BCECD.


When should I call 911?

Call 911 to request service from police, fire or emergency medical services.
Examples of when you should call 911 include:
• Any crime in progress or where the offender is still on the scene (or has just left the scene)
• All serious violent crimes—homicide, robbery, sexual assault, domestic violence, assault—even if the crime is no longer in progress or the offender has left the scene
• All fires and medical emergencies
• Home and business intruders
• Vehicle crashes involving personal injury, major property damage, or traffic tie-ups
• Sighting of a criminal whom you know is wanted by the police


What information should I provide?

It is critical that you provide the call-taker with information that is as accurate and complete as possible. Try to remain calm, and speak slowly and clearly. While the information you provide will vary with the incident, there are some critical details that will be required in almost every instance.
These include:
• A brief description of the crime or incident
• Time of occurrence
• Exact location (including street and unit/apartment numbers, if applicable)
• Extent of injuries or property damage, if any...
• Description of any suspects: gender, race, height, weight, clothing, hair color/style, facial hair, scars/marks/tattoos
• Weapons used, including a description
• Description of suspect vehicle: make/model, color, tag numbers (including jurisdiction), whether there are temporary tags on the vehicle
• Direction of flight: down what street/alley; on foot, bicycle or motor vehicle
• Also, it is critical that you give the call-taker your phone number—especially if you are calling from a wireless phone—so that the police can call you back if they need additional information.


Do I have to leave my name?

No. Callers to 911 need not reveal their names, addresses, or phone numbers if they wish to remain anonymous when reporting a crime or incident. Simply tell the call-taker you wish to remain anonymous, and ask the call-taker to tell the responding officers that you do not want the police to come to your home.
Even if you choose to remain anonymous, however, it is still recommended that you provide your phone number in case the police need to call you back for additional information.
Keep in mind, most information is considered public record. Someone could request the tape recording and recognize your voice. You can however submit a tip with Alcoa Police, Maryville Police or Blount County Sheriffs Office online. The tips there are anonymous, but may not be monitored 24/7.


What if the caller doesn't speak English?

Callers who do not speak English, or who feel more comfortable communicating in a language other than English, can still access 911 services. Call takers have immediate access to a language translation service through which translations can be made available in more than 100 different languages and dialects. If necessary, callers should tell the call-taker they want a language translator to help facilitate the call.
Also, 911 is completely accessible to the hearing-impaired. 911 can accept TDD calls; there is no separate TDD number to call for police, fire or emergency medical services.



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