I read with interest the commentary reprinted on June 6 from The Yakima Herald-Republic regarding saving 911 calls for real emergencies. I applaud and appreciate the message, as too frequently the 911 system is used for frivolous and unnecessary reasons, tying up our Snohomish County 911 staff that could instead be answering a call that is a true emergency. Thank you for sharing this message.
I also wanted to comment briefly about the availability of online reporting and a trend toward more “self-service” when it comes to reporting a crime. This is a valuable tool for law enforcement agencies to be able to deliver services when the demands placed on their officers are too great to allow for personal contact. Many law enforcement agencies, including Mill Creek, have the ability due to geography, staffing and workload to be able to provide personal service. This ability is a point of pride for departments like ours, and I wanted to ensure that the members of our community understand that they can call and we will come. This is true for many cities throughout Snohomish County, the region and the state, and I would urge community members to get to know the philosophies of their local law enforcement.
All that said, I still wholly agree; save 911 calls for real emergencies. Our 911 center has made available non-emergency phone lines that should be used to report non in-progress crimes and incidents requiring a routine response from law enforcement (425-407-3999).
Police Chief Greg Elwin