Frequently asked Questions

ANIMAL ABUSE CALLS
IF YOU ARE REPORTING ANIMAL ABUSE, PLEASE DO NOT CALL 911. REPORT ALL ANIMAL ABUSE CASES TO THE APPROPRIATE AGENCY OR CALL OUR BUSINESS LINE OR THE SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT BUSINESS LINE. THE APPROPRIATE OFFICES THAT HANDLE ANIMAL ABUSE CASES ARE:
SMALL ANIMALS: BEDFORD COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL
LARGE ANIMALS: BEDFORD COUNTY AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION OFFICE 2105 Midland Road Shelbyville, TN 37160 (931) 684-5971

How do I know when to dial 911?
Anytime you find yourself in a situation that requires an emergency response from a law enforcement, fire department or ambulance you should call 911. As a general rule, if you face a situation where you are trying to decide whether to dial 911 or not, DIAL 911. It is always better to be safe than risk the chance of not getting the help you need, when you need it.

What can I expect when I call 911?
Your call will be answered by a 911 Dispatcher. Questions generally asked WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN. The dispatcher must ask you specific questions in order to ensure you receive help. It's important to listen to the dispatcher and answer the questions asked. It may seem that you are asked a lot of questions and that a lot of time has passed, however trained dispatchers will only ask questions that are necessary in getting you the proper help you need. Depending on the situation, they may want you to stay on the line until law enforcement, fire or medical personnel actually arrive and will tell you when it is okay to hang up.

Why does the Dispatcher ask “what address you are calling from?”
The dispatchers are trained to verify all of the information that they receive automatically. Sometimes there are errors in the databases used to provide 9-1-1 service. The 9-1-1 call taker wants to be sure that the help you need is sent to the right place.

What happens if I accidentally dial 911?
Please do not hang up after misdials are realized. If a connection was made, regardless if the line was not answered by the 911 operator, the PSAP will still receive the call. It is very important to remain on the line, even if you realize you misdialed. The 9-1-1 center has a policy that requires the 9-1-1 dispatcher to call you back to try to verify if an emergency really exists. A law enforcement officer may be sent to investigate 9-1-1 misdials to verify that everything is all right.

If I dial 9-1-1 from my cell phone, will the dispatcher know where I am?
Yes, in most cases. Local customers of Verizon, Alltel, and AT&T Mobility can generally be located when they dial 9-1-1 from their cell phone. The accuracy can vary but in most cases, the coordinates are within 90 feet of the caller's actual location. Because of the mobile nature of cell phones, our 9-1-1 Dispatchers will always ask you to verify your location.

What if I don’t know here I am calling from or can’t speak, will the dispatcher know where I am?
Local home and business phone companies keep your address updated in the 9-1-1 system. When you dial 9-1-1 from your home or business phone the address is sent to the 9-1-1 dispatcher. Some internet phone services like Vonage or Magic Jack require you to enter and keep your address current.

Local cellular companies provide 9-1-1 with the ability to locate their customer’s cell phones when they dial 9-1-1. The information displayed includes your cell phone number and the latitude and longitude of the phone. In most cases, the location is within 90 feet of your actual location.

If I need to report a crime, but it is not an emergency, should I still call 9-1-1?
No. Please call the police department at: 931-684-5811 or the sheriff’s department at: 931-684-3232

When NOT to dial 911:

  • To get directions
  • To complain
  • Obtain weather report
  • Testing your phone line
  • Need directory assistance
  • Telephone information (call 411)
  • Power outages (call your utility company)
  • Telephone problems (call your phone company)
  • Nuisance animals (call city or county animal control)
  • A joke (this ties up the lines and may cause a true emergency to be delayed)
  • Keys only locked in vehicle, UNLESS someone is locked inside (call a locksmith or wrecker service)