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What is 911?

911 is a nationally recognized number which the public can call to request emergency assistance for police, fire, or medical emergencies. It is an easy number to remember during an emergency. Specially trained people known as Telecommunicators answer your 911 calls. They are trained to ask certain questions that are necessary in order to determine the nature of your emergency and the proper emergency service that is needed.

What is and is not an emergency?

An emergency can be any type of incident where injury to people or property may occur. Examples can be accidents with injuries, fires of any kind, medical emergencies, or any crime that is in progress.

It is not an emergency when the situation is not dangerous, immediate action is not necessary, and it is not life-threatening. If you need assistance, do not hesitate to call the department's non-emergency line at (336) 229-3500. Examples can be a break-in that has occurred, but there is no suspect on the scene or a traffic accident without injuries. Do not call the police to report a power outage, inquire on school closings, or for information on scheduled public events.

What Information Do I Need to Give When I Call?

Always try to provide as much information as possible. Remember the "Who, What, When, and Where" rule. This rule will provide: who is calling, what is going on, when did it happen, and where did it happen. This is the basic information the telecommunicator requires to provide timely assistance, however, always provide as much information as you possibly can. Remember, the telecommunicator is asking these questions so they can dispatch the proper number of police units to the right location and to ensure officer safety as well as yours. Do not hang up until instructed to do so by the telecommunicator.

Tips on How to Use 911 and Teaching Kids How to Use 911:

  • Keep your address and phone number posted near every phone in your house. It is very stressful during an emergency so it can be easy to forget your address. By posting this information, you, as well as visitors, can dial 911 and get help quickly.
  • Speak clearly and calmly at all times. Do not yell into the phone.
  • Listen closely to the questions and try to answer all of them. Something that might not seem important to you could be very important to officers
  • Make sure kids of all ages know how to use 911. Help your children learn their address and phone number at an early age.
  • Teach children to dial 911 only in an emergency. If 911 is dialed accidentally, please stay on the line and let the telecommunicator know that it was a mistake.
  • Teach children to call 911 if they feel they need help. Help them learn the difference between what is an emergency and what is not.

Crimestoppers (It is Anonymous!):

Crimestoppers is a program that involves the public, the media, and the police in the fight against crime. It offers anonymity and cash rewards to persons who furnish information leading to the arrest of suspects. Each week facts about unsolved felony crimes are aired on radio, TV, in various newspapers, on our Alamance Crimestoppers website, and circulated to enforcement agencies throughout the area. Citizens are asked to call Crimestoppers with any information regarding the crimes. All calls are kept in complete confidence. Citizens who supply information which leads to an arrest are eligible for a reward valued up to $2,500.00. The Crimestoppers Board determines the amount of the reward. The department also has a Campus Crimestoppers Program designed to provide students a way to anonymously report crimes that may occur on their campus and a Gunstoppers program to get illegal firearms off the street.

How It Works:

Individuals can contact Crimestoppers a few different ways:
They will then be given an identification number and password. The individual should make sure to write the tip ID and password down, so they do not forget it because this number is the only way they can collect their cash rewards or add additional information at a later time. Individuals(s) can receive cash rewards for information that aids in clearing a case and/or prevents criminal offenses from occurring. After a reasonable amount of time, individual(s) may contact Crimestoppers during normal business hours to determine if they are eligible for a reward. The Crimestoppers Board decides on the amount of the rewards, which are paid in the form of a check made out at a local bank which will cash the check. Individual(s) then use their tip ID and password to pick up the check.

Campus Crimestoppers:

Students can also participate in the Crimestoppers program through Campus Crimestoppers. They can do so using any of the previously stated methods or they may also provide information to the School Resource Officer assigned to their school if they prefer. The SRO will then secure an ID number for the student.


A large majority of our violent crimes include firearms, and many of those firearms are illegal.The goal of this program is to reduce violent crime involving firearms in Alamance County by encouraging people to report illegal firearms. To be an illegal weapon, the firearm must either be possessed illegally or be illegal on its own, such as sawed-off rifles or shotguns, automatic weapons, machine guns, ones with illegal silencers, altered firearms, and stolen weapons. A weapon is possessed illegally if it is in the control of a person who cannot lawfully have a firearm, such as felons and persons prohibited from firearms as part of a domestic violence order. Like the Crimestoppers program, tips to Gunstoppers are completely anonymous! Gunstoppers will pay a minimum of $200 cash as a reward to anyone who notifies Crimestoppers and that tips leads to an arrest or confiscation of an illegal firearm by any law enforcement agency in Alamance County. Tipsters who provide information on illegal weapons are still eligible for Crimestoppers regards if additional illegal activity is discovered as a result of the gun tip.
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Help ID and Most Wanted:

The Burlington Police Department is seeking help from the community. Please view our Most Wanted and Help ID pages to see if you recognize any of the individuals there. They are persons of interest in ongoing investigations or wanted by the department for various charges. We also have an Unsolved Homicides page, please view it and send us any information you have regarding these ongoing investigations. If you have any information regarding these individuals, please contact us using the methods listed on the pages. Information received that leads to arrest is eligible for a cash reward through our Crimestoppers program. 
Burlington Connected

Burlington Connected:

Community members can use Burlington Connected to report non-emergency issues, such as graffiti requests, and they will be automatically directed to the appropriate department. You can also download the Burlington Connected app in the app store. And as always, you can can call (336) 222-5024 to report your service requests.