UPDATE Thursday, July 14: The phone lines are back in working order.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Because of a problem with the City of Richmond phone lines, the non-emergency number for the city of Richmond was not working for several hours from Wednesday night into Thursday morning. This did not impact the 911 emergency line.
Those in need of non-emergency police or public safety services were asked to call 804-230-7553 instead.
According to the release, calls to 911 and to 804-230-7553 are being answered and services are being dispatched the same as under normal circumstances. The normal non-emergency number to call is 804-646-5100.
Phone lines for other city of Richmond offices also are affected, and the city and its partners are working to address the issue.
“We’re putting backups in place, while continuing to protect the safety and well-being of the residents of Richmond,” said Stephen Willoughby, director and chief of Richmond’s Department of Emergency Communications.
The public was asked to stay on the line until the call is answered by the next available emergency communications officer. Callers should not hang up while the number is ringing, or if they receive a message that all operators are busy. According to the Department of Emergency Communications, hanging up to attempt to call back in these situations will only delay the response. Also, if a call is placed to 911 in error, the caller should stay on the line and explain to the operator that the call was a mistake.
“Our communications officers are answering and dispatching all emergency calls using the same equipment and systems they use every day, but citizens just need to call a different number to reach them currently,” Willoughby said.