Who? What? When? Where?



Professional call-takers are trained to get information from you.
Remember when answering questions or giving instructions, help is on the way.
Communication operators coordinate with several different agencies such as:

 Law Enforcement   Surrounding Law Enforcement
 Fire Department   Ambulance Service 

 Utilities Company  Tow Company
 Department of Family Services   Juvenile Office

 Municipal Court  State Court  Probation & Parole


When calling 911 from a cellular device your phone signal will ping off the closest tower to your location. In the event that your emergency is within the city limits of Kennett your call will be forwarded to the Dunklin County Sheriff Department 911 Center. After the communication officer gets your location you will be transferred to the Kennett 911 Communications Center where the Operator will get the appropriate emergency personnel dispatched to your location. If you're calling from a land line your call will automatically be forwarded to Kennett 911 Center.


 Medical Emergency  Motor Vehicle Accident
 Witness a Crime/Possible Crime  Fire


 Know your location  Answer the dispatcher’s questions  Follow instructions

911 Communications Work Station

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my call is an emergency?

Examples of emergencies are: a crime or incident in progress, a suspicious person or vehicle, or when there is a risk of loss of life or property. Non-emergencies include crimes or incidents not in progress, animal calls, directions, questions about special events, and loud music calls. If you are not sure if your concern qualifies as an emergency, go ahead and dial 911. The Communications Officer will refer you to the non-emergency number if appropriate.

How can I help myself in an emergency?

Most importantly, remain calm and work with the 911 Communications Officer. Valuable time can be lost to panic. You may be able to provide important information for the responders or take some important first steps to handle the situation at hand. For the speediest response possible, be prepared to supply the Communications Officer with the following information: type of problem, where you are, where the problem is, phone number you may be called back at, color of the house, closest cross streets, landmarks, how many people are involved, descriptions of any vehicles involved, and descriptions of any suspects and direction of travel. If you are calling from a cellular phone, make note of landmarks, mile markers on the highways, and any other information which could provide your location. When you dial 911 from a cellular phone, it is not answered by Kennett 911 Communications, but rather the Dunklin County 911 Communications. It is vital to be as specific as you can regarding your location especially on a cellular phone. 

Does the center just disregard some calls?

The dispatch center does not disregard any calls for service. All legitimate calls are turned over to the agency responsible for service and once this happens, the outcome is out of our control. If you have a concern about how a specific incident was/wasn't handled, you should contact the department that handled the call and speak to a supervisor.

I have an old phone. Can I use this to teach my child about dialing 911?

Even if there is no cell phone service to the phone, as long as it is charged, it can still call 911. Please do not let children play with your old phones, or at least take the battery out before you do.

Does the 911 Communications Officer know my location?

Assume the 911 Communications Officer does not know your location. Some cell phones are able to triangulate the signal and give an approximate location, but you will need to provide the dispatcher with additional location information. Be prepared to give precise directions to your location.

What if I don't know where I am when I call 9-1-1?

Look for landmarks, large buildings, street signs or paperwork nearby that may contain address information. Think back to the main street or highway you were near when your emergency occurred. If others are around, ask them where you are.

Why do the 911 Communications Officers ask so many questions when I dial 9-1-1?

Calltakers need to gather information for the safety of the officers, firefighters, medical personnel and you. The 911 Communications Officer you are talking to has already sent your call for service to emergency personnel but oftentimes he/she has to keep you on the line to gather more information which is important to the call. Be patient and know that they are getting help to you as soon as possible.

I called 911 for an ambulance and I got a fire truck and an ambulance. Why did you send me a fire truck too?

Every time someone calls 911 for a medical situation, our dispatchers send resources according to protocol depending on the seriousness of the medical emergency and the location that you are in. For example, any medical emergency that involves severe difficulty breathing gets a fire truck as well as an ambulance dispatched. All firefighters at Kennett Fire Department are trained first responders. Oftentimes the fire trucks are closer to the scene of a medical emergency and can get there sooner to begin assessing and treating the patient.

Why does it take 911 so long to answer?

In actuality, we average less than five seconds in answering your 9-1-1 call. Sometimes, if a major incident occurs, many people dial 9-1-1 at the same time and it slows down our ability to answer each call. Your call is important to us and we will answer as quickly as we possibly can.

What happens if my 911 service goes out?

It's not likely that 911 service would go out. Should that ever happen, you can reach the center at 573.888.4622. Should your phone service be out completely, it's a good idea to know where your closest fire station or police department is located. You can always go there for assistance.

Do you sound the tornado sirens at 911?

The weekly Wednesday noon test of the tornado siren system is usually sounded from the Kennett 911 Communications Center. This test is completed when the sky is clear and no potential of hazardous weather. What should I do when the tornado sirens sound? First of all, don't dial 911 to ask questions about the weather or why the sirens are sounding. That only ties up emergency lines for people who may be in need. Only call if you have severe weather to report or another emergency. When the sirens sound is not the time to develop a tornado safety plan for you or your family. Instead, take the time to visit the National Weather Service or other weather provider to learn about severe weather awareness.

Why does it take so long for an Officer to show up at my house when I call?

There are several reasons for this. First, the large number of calls received often outnumber the Officers available to handle these calls. Second, the Communications Staff works on a triage system, using answers to their questions to prioritize calls from highest priorities to lower priorities. For example, a fight in progress or a motor vehicle accident with injuries would be assigned higher priorities than a barking dog or theft not in progress.


Kennett Police Station
200 Cedar St
Kennett, MO 63857
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