Many people are unsure of the difference between 9-1-1 and 3-1-1. So which number should you call and what should you report?


When to use 9-1-1:

  • When there is a police, fire, or medical emergency. Specifically, when there is a CURRENT threat to a person or property.
    • Someone is injured either from an accident or from being the victim of crime
    • A crime just occurred or is to occur
    • You see smoke or fire
    • Serious illness


When to use 3-1-1:

  • Where there is NO CURRENT threat to a person or property, or for information.
    • Non-serious crime that occurred sometime earlier
    • Someone who is in custody for a crime and is under control
    • Loud parties, barking dogs, minor fender benders, etc
    • Inquiries on how to file or obtain copies of a police reportĀ 


Know How to Describe Vehicles and People:

  • Vehicles are described using the acronym CYMBALS
    C = Color
    Y = Year
    M = Make and Model
    B = Body Style (sedan, truck, van, etc)
    A = Accessories
    L = License Plate
    S = State


People are described from head to toe:

  • Is the person male or female?
  • What is the person's age, height, weight?
  • What is this person's hair, does this person have facial hair?
  • What color hat, shirt, pants is this person wearing?
  • Was this person wearing glasses? Jewelry? Walk with a limp? Have any scars or tattoos?


This information was sourced from Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department www.lvmpd.com.