Tips for calling 911

Try to answer questions as calmly and clearly as possible. Remain on the phone line until the dispatcher tells you it is ok to hang up.   The more cooperative you are and the more information you provide, the faster help can be dispatched.  Remember, you are not delaying help by answering these questions.  In fact, you are ensuring that first responders have information to better help you. The more information that can be relayed to the responding deputy, ambulance or fire truck, the better and safer the situation can be managed.

It is important that you relay where the emergency is occurring.  At times, you may not know where you are at.  The dispatcher will ask you a series of questions to help you remember where you were headed, what road you took, etc.  Remember, it is your responsibility to take note of what street you are on, what cross street you are near, what mile markers you passed, etc.  Keeping your location in mind will enable the dispatcher to send help more quickly and efficiently.

Post your house numbers. Make sure that they are clearly visible and reflective at night. If you live down a long driveway or path, make sure that your house numbers are indicated at the entrance to the path. It makes it much easier for first responders to find your location during an emergency.

Gather as many facts as you can under the circumstances and write them down so you won’t forget.  When reporting a crime in progress, it is unlikely that the perpetrator will remain on scene and in one place until law enforcement arrives. Take a second look – a minute gathering more complete information may be worth the delay.  By obtaining a detailed description of the person or vehicle, law enforcement will be watching for him/her or vehicle on the way to the call and they can take action if the encounter them before arriving at the scene. If you are describing a person please note the race of the person, whether they are a female or a male, what the person is wearing, color of hair and any outstanding marks, scars or tattoos.  With a car description, a license plate number is great if you can get it or special characteristics such as dents, broken lights.  It will help responding units better identify the suspect vehicle versus just a “red car”

Questions Frequently Asked of Deputies   

Where is the Jail located?

328 Applestill Road, El Centro Ca. It is located directly south of the city of El Centro at the corner of Clark and McCabe, next the Sheriff’s Main Office.

What is the Sheriff’s Office Jurisdiction?

The County of Imperial has a total of 4,482 square miles, 4,175 miles of it is land and 307 square miles of it is water.  The Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over all of it.

Why doesn’t the Sheriff Patrol the smaller cities?

The Sheriff’s Office patrols the unincorporated portions of the county and unincorporated towns such as Niland, Seeley, Heber, Winterhaven and the Quechan Indian Nation. The city police patrol the incorporated cities for which they are hired. Sometimes the Sheriff’s Office will assist cities or other agencies when they are overwhelmed or unable to provide the needed service.

What is the difference between a Police Chief and a Sheriff?

The Sheriff is the Chief Law Enforcement Officer for the county. He is elected by the people of the county by general election and is answerable to the people of the county. A Police Chief is responsible for the city for which he is hired. He is appointed to his position by a Mayor, City Council or City Administrator and is answerable to that person or body.

Can a Deputy Sheriff arrest people in the city and give traffic tickets?

Yes. All full time California Peace Officers have police powers throughout the State of California. Typically the California Highway Patrol patrols the highways and the city Police patrol the incorporated cities, but any Deputy Sheriff, Police Officer or CHP Officer can cite or arrest anywhere in the state.

How can I get a copy of my report or find out the status of my case?

Call the Sheriff’s records division (760) 339-6345 during business hours 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday. Please have your report number handy. If you do not have your report number, be prepared to provide the date, time, location and the names of the parties involved.

How can I get a restraining order against someone?

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