Calling 911

What happens when I call 911?

Dialing 911 from a land-line phone (including pay phones) will automatically route your phone call to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction where the phone call originated. Dialing 911 from a campus phone will route your call to the ISU Police Dispatch Center, which has direct phone and radio contact with all local emergency response units, including ISU police officers, the fire department, and ambulance services.

When you place a 911 call from your cellular phone, your call will be routed to the Ames Police Communications Center. Therefore, you need to be prepared to inform the dispatcher of your exact location and that you need to be connected to ISU Police. You will be told your call is being transferred. DO NOT HANG UP THE PHONE. There will be a slight delay in the phone transfer and you may not hear a ring. Stay on the line until the dispatcher answers.

You may also call ISU Police directly on your cell phone at 515-294-4428. Stay on the line until the dispatcher obtains all information needed to assist you.

When you call 911 or 515-294-4428, dispatch personnel will answer your call. The dispatcher will ask you a series of questions to determine if the call requires an emergency response. If an emergency response is required, you will be asked to wait on the line while an officer is dispatched to your location. If an emergency response is not required, an officer will be sent to meet with you as soon as possible.

When should I call 911?

911 should be used only in emergencies. An emergency is one that requires an immediate response from a police officer, fire department or ambulance personnel. Examples of this include in-progress crimes, motor vehicle accidents, fires, hazardous material spills, serious medical conditions or injuries requiring an ambulance. 911 should not be used for information, directory assistance, loud noise complaints, or as a prank. If 911 lines are used inappropriately, it potentially delays an emergency response for someone who is experiencing a true emergency.

Most Asked

Where can I smoke on campus?

The Smokefree Air Act, effective July 1, 2008, applies to Iowa State University and declares the entire university grounds and properties as a Smoke-Free Campus. 

I lost something on campus. Where can I find it?

We encourage everyone to check the Lost and Found page at Iowa State University first. If you are unable to locate your item at the lost and found page and believe it may have been stolen, please contact the ISU Police at 515-294-4428 to file a theft report.

What is a crime warning?

Crime warnings are issued for any reported crime occurring on or near campus that is considered by ISU to represent a serious or continuing threat to students.  The decision to issue a crime warning will be made by the Chief of Police of the ISU PD.  The Chief may consult with other University staff and officials as appropriate to determine the content of the warning.  The issuance of crime warnings is a requirement of the federal Clery Act. 

The method to distribute a crime warning is mainly by email through the use of the ISU Alert system, but other methods that could be utilized include the outdoor early warning system, postings to the ISU Homepage, social media websites, twitter, and local television and radio stations.

There may be reported crimes that do not rise to the level of a crime warning but do merit the notification of students to allow them to make informed decisions regarding their safety.  These notifications will be issued as general crime alerts when warranted.

What is an ISU Alert?

ISU Alert is an electronic system to deliver emergency messages to students, faculty, and staff quickly.  Notifications are sent via landline phones, cell phones, text messages, and e-mail.  Messages are brief, include basic information and provide instructions on how to obtain more details.  The ISU Alert system will be used only for emergencies posing an immediate danger to the university community.  Examples include:

Bomb threats or other imminent violent threats,

Fires, natural gas leaks and hazardous spills affecting the entire campus,

Building evacuations or lockdowns affecting the entire campus,

Biological or pandemic emergency notifications,

Natural disasters,

Power outages and utility failures resulting in an imminent threat, and

Campus closure due to a declared civil emergency.

All members of the ISU community are encouraged to keep their ISU Alert contact information up to date, and edits may be made using AccessPlus.    

Police Reports

How can I file a police report?

For reporting crimes on campus, you can come to the front counter of the ISU Police Communications Center or call the communications center at 515-294-4428 for an officer to respond to your location. The officers will be happy to assist you in filing a report. Please ensure you have valid identification with you as this will assist the responding officer.

What happens after I file a police report?

The report will be forwarded to the investigation for follow-up if applicable. Not all reported crimes are solvable, and the amount of suspect information available will determine if an investigator will be assigned for follow-up. Once the investigation is complete, the report may be submitted to the Story County Attorney’s Office if there is a prosecutable crime.