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Lynn Police Dept - 300 Washington Street Lynn, Massachusetts 01902


Signal Room

Communications / Dispatch

Communications is one of the most important services within the Lynn Police Department. The police officers who serve as Communication Officers are responsible for maintaining the link between the public and the police officers in the field.

It is the Communication Officers who typically have the first contact with the citizen, and the decisions that they make can dictate the entire department’s response. The Communication Officer’s job is to listen to the information offered by the caller, ask appropriate questions to discover the true nature of the call, assess the information quickly, and then make a decision on how to field the call.

All calls that require a police officer to respond are entered into the CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system and prioritized. The calls are then dispatched by radio, or by computer to a mobile data terminal in the appropriate cruiser.

The Communication Officers handle all major radio broadcasts transmitted by the Lynn Police Department via the Boston Area Police Emergency Radio Network (BAPERN). They also handle the vast amount of tele-communications which are sent and received over the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) / Law Enforcement Agency Processing System (LEAPS) computer.

9-1-1 Information

What is 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is a three digit emergency telephone number used in the City of Lynn which links callers to the appropriate emergency service – Police, Fire or Medical. Calling 9-1-1 helps ensure you reach the emergency service you require as quickly as possible.


What is an Emergency?

An emergency is a situation where the safety of people or property is at risk. Examples of 9-1-1 emergencies include… a fire, a crime in progress, or a medical crisis.


What is NOT an emergency?

It is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous and immediate action is not necessary. Examples of a non-emergency situation include: an automobile accident where an injury has not occurred, after a crime has been committed and you know that the offender has left the scene; and follow-up on an auto theft report. If the emergency is not life threatening, then check the directory for the number of the appropriate agency.


When to call 9-1-1?

When “emergency” police, fire, or medical response is needed.
When you see fire or smoke.
When a life and/or property is in danger.
When a crime is being committed.
When an ambulance is needed.

Who can call 9-1-1?

Anyone can call 9-1-1.

Children should be taught to call 9-1-1 for police, fire, or medical help.
The sight-impaired can use the digits, 9-1-1 on the telephone, or use a preprogrammed speed dial button to call.
The hearing-impaired and vocal-impaired can use a TDD machine.
If the caller does not speak English, they should stay on the line and a call taker will link up with a telephone translation service which can handle 156 different languages.

How do I call 9-1-1?

To call 9-1-1 from a home phone or a simple business phone, pick up the phone receiver and press the numbers, 9-1-1.

To call 9-1-1 from a Centrex or PBX business extension, obtain an outside line (usually by dialing “9”), and then press the numbers, 9-1-1.

To call 9-1-1 from a pay phone, no money is needed, simply press the numbers, 9-1-1.

How does 9-1-1 work?

When you dial 9-1-1 your call is answered by professionally trained personnel. The 9-1-1 telephone system has an Automatic Location Identification (ALI) system and an Automatic Number Identification (ANI) system which lets the call taker know the address and telephone number of the caller. If the caller is unable to speak, the police will be dispatched to the location.

If you call from a cellular phone, ALI/ANI information will NOT be available to the call taker. Try to remain calm, speak clearly and give your exact location.

The caller must be prepared to give the following information:

Which service is required: Police, Fire, or Medical.

Where the emergency has occurred – the full address, including the name of the city or town, is important as similar street names occur in different areas within the City of Lynn.

You will then be connected to a Police, Fire or Ambulance dispatch center according to the information you have supplied.


How do I use 9-1-1?

9-1-1 is only a telephone number. Quick response depends on the vital information which you provide.

Remain calm and speak clearly.

Tell the 9-1-1 dispatcher where the emergency is and what is happening.

The 9-1-1 dispatcher will then ask you more questions. Provide answers as best you can.


9-1-1 and Cellular Phones

A 9-1-1 call made from a cellular phone will certainly be answered. However, the additional information such as the caller’s property address and the appropriate emergency service agencies which serve the caller’s location will not be available to the call taker. Cellular phones cannot be given a property address, because they do not have a fixed location and, therefore, all cellular callers will have to verbally give their location to the call taker when placing a 9-1-1 call. It is important, therefore, that all cellular callers be constantly aware of their location when traveling, and if possible, use the intersection and property signs to assist in determining where they are in the event of an emergency situation.

It is also important to note that even though a cellular call may originate from within the city of Lynn, the call taker may not be a Lynn 9-1-1 Operator. Cellular phone calls are routed based on the cell tower which receives the call. These towers do not follow municipal boundaries and, therefore, a 9-1-1 call placed from a cellular phone may be answered by a call taker other than a Lynn 9-1-1 Operator.

Regardless of which call taker answers the cellular call, emergency services can still be dispatched to the scene of the emergency if the cellular phone caller knows the correct location (i.e. the property address) from which he or she is calling.



9-1-1 is not for jokes… it is for those who need help.

Post your address, phone number and nearest cross-street by each telephone so anyone (baby-sitter, friend, visitor, and family member) will be able to give the vital information needed for quick response.

Your house number needs to be visible from the street or clearly posted where your driveway joins the main road.

9-1-1 is not for information, such as road or weather conditions, area power outages, or directions. It is only for police, fire, or medical emergencies.

To call the Lynn Police if it is not an Emergency

For non-emergency contact, please call us at (781) 595-2000.