“DC 911 response”

“Dear PoPville,

I just wanted to write in with my experience with DC 911 on Monday 12th at 3:40pm. I called 911 to report a man attempting to break into cars in broad daylight as I sat in my bay window he moved from car to car trying various doors of multiple cars. Read More


photo by fromcaliw/love

Dave Statter covered public safety in the District of Columbia and the region as a reporter for WTOP Radio & WUSA-TV. His website,, focuses on fire, EMS and 911 issues and videos. Dave currently runs STATter911 Communications in Arlington, VA.

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail(dot)com please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

Between the pandemic and the wave of violence in the District of Columbia, no one wants another reason to fear for their health and safety or for the well-being of their family. But there’s another crisis. One that’s mostly being ignored by political leaders and the news media. DC 911 is in desperate shape.

Handling almost two million calls each year, there’s no other local public safety agency in the region with more impact on our health and safety than DC’s Office of Unified Communications (OUC). Right now, the person in charge of OUC is struggling to get staff to show up for work and making sure those who do, put in a full shift. And with Covid cases rising among the unvaccinated, this 911 staffing problem may soon get much worse. OUC is the DC agency with the lowest percentage of vaccinated workers – less than 35%. Read More


Thanks to Lindsay for alerting me to the new 911 policy mandating all police calls go to 911 instead of non emergency calls to 311. Now, as I’ve mentioned before I’ve been hit in the head on more than one occasion and I’ve killed many a brain cell through my own behavior, but why on earth would you combine non emergency calls with emergency calls? I’m sure there is a proper answer here, I just can’t imagine it. I mean will they double they amount of operators answering 911 calls now? Also, before when I called 911 I knew my call would be taken with the utmost seriousness but now if we have dozens of people calling 911 because there neighbor is playing the stereo too loud – won’t 911 be cheapened. Do you know what I’m saying? Someone explain the merits to me, please. Anyway, here is the email from the listserv Lindsay found:

POLICE RELATED CALLS MUST BE CALLED INTO 911…311 will now be used for
the Mayors Customer Service Requests

911 – all police related matters – emergency and non emergency, need of
ambulance, fires

311- all other governmental agency requests/city services – cars towed,
streetlights replaced, streets repaired, animal issues, abandoned
vehicles, trees trimmed, trash pick ups, etc..


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