From the Chicago PD

911 vs. 311


When to call 311 and when to call 911?

The primary functions of 311 are to:

  • Provide information about city services and events
  • Process requests for city services such as missing signs, graffiti, burned out street/traffic lights, leaking water mains, pot holes, etc.
  • Process non-emergency police requests when there is no offender on the scene and there is no immediate threat to safety or property, and/or a report is all that is needed such as a theft or criminal damage that has previously occurred

Call 911 for emergencies and other situations that require immediate police and/or fire response.

Call 911 for Police Services …

  • When there is a crime in progress or one has just occurred
  • When there is an immediate threat to life or safety
  • When the services of a police officer are required on scene at that moment; such as a disturbance, or parking violator that is blocking a garage, driveway, hydrant, handicap space, etc.

Call for Fire Services…

  • When there is a serious or life threatening medical situation
  • When there is a fire or hazardous material incident/spill
  • When there is a trapped person


Remember – If you need an officer or an ambulance immediately do not call 311; call 911.

For more information contact the 19th District Community Policing Office

312-744-0064 or


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