Bloomfield Township has a consolidated dispatch center that handles all emergency and non-emergency calls for service for Police, Fire and EMS in the Township. The dispatch center is equipped with an enhanced 9-1-1 system, which enables the dispatcher to identify through the computer system the phone number and address of a caller using a landline from any home or business in the Township.
The communications staff consists of 12 dispatchers and one dispatch supervisor. All are highly trained civilians ready to answer your call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In addition to their phone and radio duties the communications staff handles routine questions and court-ordered PBTs (preliminary breath tests) at the front desk, as well as after-hours water and animal emergencies.
The staff in the communications center has the responsibility of getting help to you quickly while ensuring the safety of all responders. Each year the dispatch staff attends continuing education and re-certification training approved and mandated by the State 9-1-1 office. They are capable of handling your questions and concerns and strive to provide the highest quality service to the citizens who call.
1. When should I call 9-1-1?
You should call 9-1-1 when:
- You are a witness to or a victim of a crime in progress or one that has just occurred
- If you witness or are involved in an injury accident
- Experience or see someone having a medical emergency
- If you see fire or smoke or any incident that is a potentially dangerous situation
If you are in Bloomfield Township and dial 9-1-1 you will reach the Bloomfield Township Police/Fire/EMS communications center. If you need to report a crime or emergency in a different city you may either dial that city’s police department directly or dial 9-1-1 and Bloomfield Township dispatch will transfer you to the correct jurisdiction.
2. When should I call the non-emergency number?
Do not call 9-1-1 if no person or property is in immediate danger. You may call the non-emergency number if you need to report something that occurred earlier that day, days before or even weeks before, or if you need a report for insurance purposes. The Township Police non-emergency number is 248-433-7755.
3. What is "enhanced" or E9-1-1?
Enhanced or E9-1-1 means that we have a link to the phone company that provides both the address and the phone number for the calling party, if you are calling from a landline phone.
4. If you have my address and phone number why do you ask for it?
Computers are wonderful but not infallible. Mistakes can be made, so we ask questions to make sure we have the correct information. Sometimes people call from a neighbor’s house; we do not want to send help to the wrong address.
5. Why do you ask so many questions when I call?
It may seem like we are wasting time, but we follow a proven set of important questions designed to provide emergency responders with the information they need to prepare for the call and respond. The more information we have the more quickly and efficiently we can help you.
6. Why do I have to stay on the phone?
We keep you on the phone so that you can assist by telling us what is going on or if there has been a change in the situation or location of the incident. Sometimes we keep you on the phone so that we can give you instructions on how to help the victim until help arrives. Staying on the phone with us does not delay the response of police or fire units.
7. What happens if I call 9-1-1 accidentally?
Stay on the phone until the dispatcher answers and then explain what happened. If you hang up the dispatcher will try to call you back to verify that you do not have an emergency and if we cannot reach you a police officer will be dispatched to the house or business to confirm that everyone is ok.
8. Can I test 9-1-1?
Yes. Call our non-emergency number, 248-433-7755, and ask if you can test. There are times when the dispatch center is too busy to allow testing. Do not dial 9-1-1 and tell us that you are testing the system. If you dial 9-1-1 without asking to test first we will have to send an officer to your house to verify that you do not have an emergency. This is a waste of time and resources.
9. What happens when I call 9-1-1 from my cell phone?
If you are in Bloomfield Township and you dial 9-1-1 from your cell phone your call should ring into the Bloomfield Township dispatch center. If you are in any other city it goes to the closest 9-1-1 center based on the receiving cell tower location. Cellular telephones do not provide the same type of information to the dispatchers that landline phones do. Depending on the technology used by your cell provider and the age of your phone we may have an approximate location for the caller based on latitude and longitude or we may only have the address of the cell tower that received your call. This is why you must stay on the line and be prepared to give the dispatcher your location.
10. Can I send a text message to 9-1-1?
No. The Bloomfield Township dispatch center, like virtually all other dispatch centers, cannot receive text messages.
11. Can I still call 9-1-1 if I have a VoIP phone?
If you have VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) service like Comcast, Vonage or Magic Jack you may not be able to access 9-1-1 in the traditional way. VoIP calls may not connect to your local dispatch center; they may route to a central answering point (possibly out of state) not staffed by trained 9-1-1 dispatchers. The calls may be routed to non-emergency administrative lines that will not display your phone number or location information. The call may be correctly routed to an E911 line and still not display the phone number and location information. Your VoIP phone may not work during a power outage or if the Internet is down. If you travel to another city or state, you must call your VoIP provider and update your location information in order for your 9-1-1 calls to be properly routed.
12. Can I call 9-1-1 using a TTY or TDD?
Yes. The Bloomfield Township E9-1-1 system is TTY or TDD compatible for those who are speech or hearing impaired.
Helpful tips for using police and dispatch services:
- Post directions to your home near each phone so they are available for anyone who needs to call for police or fire assistance. Include the address, telephone number and homeowner’s name. Post your address clearly and prominently on your mailbox and on your house. This will help emergency responders find the correct location quickly.
- Old or unused cell phones are not toys and should never be given to a child to play with. The FCC mandates that any cell phone, whether it has current service or not, still be able to dial 9-1-1.
- Help us help you. Listen and answer all the dispatcher’s questions. We understand that staying calm during an emergency is very difficult, yet it is one of the most important things that you can do. Call the police as soon as you see something out of line, as it is much easier to investigate suspicious people or vehicles when they are still in the area.
- Teach your children how to call 9-1-1. Make sure they know their address, phone number, name and the names of their parents. Instruct them to stay on the phone and answer all the dispatcher’s questions until they are told to hang up by the dispatcher.
- Prank calls to 9-1-1 are a waste of time and resources and are illegal in Michigan. Teach your child not make prank calls to 9-1-1 or any other number.
- Do not program 9-1-1 into your phone because it increases the chance that it will be dialed accidentally.
- Keep your phones charged. Low batteries in your cell phone or portable phone handset can cause the phone to dial 9-1-1.
- Do not call the police if your power is out. Report it to DTE by calling 800-477-4747 or Consumers Energy at 800-477-5050.
- Do not call the police if you hear the tornado or severe weather sirens. If the sirens are going off it means a tornado or a severe thunderstorm with 70 mph or greater winds has been sighted. TAKE COVER and turn on your TV or radio.
- Do not call the police or fire department because you want to know why the police or fire department is at your neighbor’s house. We cannot release that information.
- Do not call 9-1-1 "because it’s the only number that you know". If you do not have an emergency you have the time to check our website, call information 248-555-1212 or look it up in the phone book.
- If you are leaving town, call or stop by the police department and fill out a vacation watch form. This form is also available on our website but cannot be submitted to the police department online. You may drop it off to the police department or fax it to 248-433-7785. Submitting this form will let us know that your house is vacant and we will give you extra patrols if possible. This will also provide us with contact information in case there is a problem at your house while you are away. If you have made arrangements with a house sitter, provide them with written instructions on how to operate your alarm system.
Useful phone numbers:
|Bloomfield Twp Police/Fire non-emergency
|Beverly Hills Police
|Bloomfield Hills Police
|West Bloomfield Twp Police
|Road Commission for Oakland County
|RCOC After hours/weekends