911 Dispatch Center Frequently Asked Questions

What should I expect when I call 9-1-1?

Information on what to expect when you dial 9-1-1

I don’t have an emergency that I have to call 911.  How do I contact the police department, sheriff’s office, etc?

To report non-emergency incidents within the City of Helena, or to speak with a Helena Police Officer, you can call 442-3233.  To report incidents outside the city limits of Helena, or to speak with a Sheriff’s Deputy, you can call 447-8293.  To report non-emergency incidents within East Helena, you can call 227-5377.

When I call to report something to the police, do I have to leave my name?

We do take anonymous complaints, however it’s usually preferable to have a complainant who the responding officer can speak with about questions or for more information.  Oftentimes, anonymous complaints do not carry the same legal weight as others, and it is almost always preferable to have first hand witnesses or complainants to aid in the prosecution of crimes.

How do I reach an officer to speak with him or her in person?

At this time, we do not individual voicemail boxes for each officer.  You can contact the dispatch center at 442-3233 and leave a message for an officer.  You may also reach officers on their department cell phones, or by email using the officer’s first initial/last name (such as jsmith for John Smith) – jsmith@helenamt.gov.

If I call 911 on my cell phone, who am I going to reach?

If you call 911 from anywhere in Lewis and Clark County, you should reach the Helena 911 Center.  If you call from inside Lewis & Clark County on a landline phone and reach any center other than Helena, please contact the SSD Administrator at 447-8233 so errors can be corrected.  If you call on a cell phone from anywhere inside the county, you should reach Helena, but due to cellular technology, it is possible you may reach another center.  Remember to always identify where you’re calling from!

Can I email or text information to 911?

As of today, our 911 Center technology does not support emailing or texting to 911.  To reach the 911 center, you must make the conventional phone call.

Why can’t I just call 911 even if its not an emergency?

There are limited telephone lines dedicated to 911 services, and if filled with non-emergency calls, could mean we miss vital information in an emergency or the response to an emergency situation could be delayed.  In 2008, the Helena 911 Center initiated almost 53,000 calls for law enforcement, fire and medical services – almost one for every citizen of the county, an average almost 150 every day!