Reporting a Crime

If you have an emergency, dial 911.  Otherwise, you can make a police report either in person by coming to police headquarters at 1033 Weldon Road, Lake Hopatcong, NJ, or by calling the non-emergency line at 973-697-1300 to have an officer respond to your location in Jefferson Township.


911 is to be used for emergencies only. An emergency is any serious medical problem (chest pain, seizure, bleeding), any type of fire (business, car, building), any life-threatening situation (fights, person with weapons, etc.) or to report crimes in progress.

Do not dial 911 for a non-emergency. Instead, dial the non-emergency telephone number (973) 697-1300.  A non-emergency incident is a property damage accident, break-in to a vehicle when suspect is gone, theft of property (when suspect is gone), vandalism (when suspect is gone), panhandlers, intoxicated persons who are not disorderly, a bear wandering through your neighborhood not disturbing anyone, or dogs barking or at large.

Do not program 911 into your auto-dial telephone. You won't forget the number, and programming the number invites accidental dialing of the number.

Please do not dial 911 to "test" your phone or the system. This needlessly burdens the 911 system with non-emergency calls and prevents 9-1-1 Operators from answering true emergency calls.

Do not call 911 to ask for directions, obtain a phone number of another agency, or to contact a police officer, EMT, or fire fighter. These calls prevent 9-1-1 Operators from answering emergency calls.

Do not let children play with real phones. That includes house phones and cellular phones. A child need only push the '9' and a call could be placed to 911. With an open line, the 9-1-1 Operator must send someone to investigate and make sure that an emergency does not exist. This needlessly takes resources away from genuine emergencies.

If you dialed 911 in error, do not hang up the telephone. Instead, stay on the line and explain to the 9-1-1 Operator that you dialed by mistake and that you do not have an emergency. If you hang up, the 9-1-1 Operator will call back to confirm that there is no emergency. If you don't answer, a police officer will be dispatched to confirm that you are okay. This will needlessly take resources away from true emergencies.

When the 9-1-1 Operator answers, briefly describe the type of incident you are reporting and the location of the emergency. For example, "I am reporting an auto fire on Route 15," or "I am reporting an unconscious person at 1 Main Street."  Then stay on the line with the 9-1-1 Operator — do not hang up until the 9-1-1 Operator tells you to. In some cases, the 9-1-1 Operator will keep you on the line while the emergency units are responding to ask additional questions or to obtain ongoing information.

Be patient as the 9-1-1 Operator asks you questions. While you are answering the 9-1-1 Operator's questions, he/she is entering the information into the dispatch system. The information is being gathered while emergency response units are en-route. The questions that are being asked do not delay the dispatch of the police or fire/EMS units.

Let the 9-1-1 Operator ask you questions — they have been trained to ask questions that will help prioritize the incident, locate it and speed an appropriate response. Your answers should be brief and responsive. Remain calm and speak clearly. If you are not in a position to give full answers to the call-taker (the subject is nearby), stay on the phone and the call-taker will ask you questions that can be answered "yes" or "no."

Be prepared to describe your location and the location of the emergency. Although an Enhanced 911 system will display your telephone number and location, the 9-1-1 Operator must confirm the displayed address or may ask you for more specific location information about the victim or suspects.

If you are a cellular caller, your telephone number and location proximity should be displayed for the 9-1-1 Operator to reference. However, some telephones are not equipped with the technology to send the information to the 9-1-1 Console. You must be able to describe your location so emergency units can respond.  Be aware of your current city/town, address, highway and direction, nearby cross streets or interchanges, or other geographical points of reference.

Occasionally, cellular 9-1-1 calls are routed to a 9-1-1 center in another City or County. Be prepared to give the 9-1-1 Operator your complete location — city or town, address or location, inside or outside, what floor or room, etc., to ensure appropriate response.

Be prepared to describe the persons involved in any incident. This includes their race, sex, age, height and weight, color of hair, description of clothing, and presence of a hat, glasses or facial hair.

Be prepared to describe any vehicles involved in the incident. This includes the color, year, make, model and type of vehicle (sedan, pick-up, SUV, van, tanker truck, etc.). If the vehicle is moving or has left the scene, the 9-1-1 Operator will need to know the last direction the vehicle was seen traveling.

Listen to the 9-1-1 Operator's instructions for assistance if you are in danger yourself. The 9-1-1 Operator may tell you to leave the building, secure yourself in a room or take other action to protect yourself.

Don't hang up until the 9-1-1 Operator tells you to. Follow any instructions the 9-1-1 Operator gives you, such as meeting the officers at the door, flagging down the firefighters at the curb, meeting the ambulance at the end of the driveway, etc.