911 Emergency Calls

Silent 911 Calls
911 should only be called to report life-threatening or medical emergencies, crimes in progress, or fires. To report all other concerns, please call the main police business number 978-937-3200.

Important Do's & Don'ts About Calling 911

  • Only call 911 in the case of an emergency!
    • Some examples of emergencies include: chest pain, a burglary in progress, or any type of fire. If you smell gas in your home, leave immediately and THEN call 911 - avoid doing so while in your home!
    • If you are calling 911 from a cell phone, the call will automatically be routed to the North Shore Regional Communications Center. Once you explain to them that you are calling from a location in Lowell, they will instantly reroute you back to our Communications Center.
    • When you call 911, briefly describe the incident you are reporting to the dispatcher.
      • Remain calm.
      • Stay on the line with the dispatcher and do not hang up until they tell you to. In many cases, the dispatcher will keep you on the phone until the first emergency units arrive to help you.
      • Do your best to remain calm, speak clearly, and let the dispatcher control the conversation when you call. They have been trained to ask you specific questions, especially when it comes to medical calls.
  • Do not call 911 for non-emergencies. See the examples below, along with alternate numbers:
    • Some examples of non-emergencies include:
      • Reporting a past theft, past vandalism, or parking problems
      • There is a barking dog in the neighborhood
      • When you can't find your television remote
      • You need a local phone number
    • For non-emergency related issues, please call the main police business number, 978-937-3200.
    • For general animal-related issues, please call the Animal Control Office directly at 978-674-4277.
    • To report loose or vicious animals, or an animal bite, please call the police business number, 978-937-3200.
  • Should you or your child accidentally dial 911, please do not hang up the telephone.
    • Your address and phone number still comes through to the Communications Center and a police officer will be dispatched to your home - even in the event of a hang up.
    • Staying on the telephone and answering the questions of the trained Communications personnel will help ensure your safety and that of the responding units as well.
    • An officer will still be sent to your home to talk with you, to help ensure your safety.

Other Important numbers

For any type of power problems, please directly contact Massachusetts Electric at 800-322-3223.
  • Press 1 to report a Power Outage.
  • Press 2 to report a Gas Leak.
  • Press 3 to report down Power Lines.
  • In case of emergency, please call 911.

Silent 911 Calls

If you need to call 9-1-1 and you are unable to speak for any reason, once the call is answered:


  • 1 – If you need police
  • 2 – If you need fire
  • 3 – If you need an ambulance.

If the 9-1-1 dispatcher asks questions, press

  • 4 – For YES
  • 5 – For NO

Text to 911

Residents and visitors are encouraged to use Text to 911 if they are unable to make a voice call. To send a text to 911, type the numbers 911 into the “To” or “Recipient” field. When sending a text to 911, please remember to state your address/location and the nature of the incident.  

For more information, please visit https://www.mass.gov/doc/text-to-9-1-1-public-faqs/download.