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Beltrami County

Emergency Communications

The Beltrami County Sheriff's Office is responsible for operating the Emergency Communications Center (also known as a Public Safety Answering Point or 911 Dispatch) to meet the emergency response needs of our community and all of our dedicated responders.  Staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week, Telecommunicators provide professional dispatching services to the citizens and visitors to Beltrami County. We provide dispatch service for law enforcement, fire and emergency medical services. We work closely with our neighboring agencies and those we have shared geography with including the Red Lake Nation and Leech Lake Reservation. Employing the latest technology, our Communications Officers are here to assist you. Be prepared to answer questions when you are reporting an event. Please reference the information below for additional frequently asked questions. 

Whenever there is a threat to life or property you should call 911. Fire, injury car crashes, medicals, robberies, burglaries and when crimes are in progress. Don't call 911 for non-emergencies instead call the non-emergency number at 218-333-9111.  Non-emergencies would be crimes that have already occurred, non-injury crashes or barking dog complaints.

Text-to-911 is available in Minnesota. Sending a text message to 911 is intended to be used only for emergencies. It is not a “tip line”.  Whenever possible, we would rather have a voice conversation. “Call when you can, text when you can’t.” Text-to-911 is available for situations when placing a voice call may put the caller in danger or when there isn’t adequate service for a voice call. You should be prepared to provide your information including your address/location and what city.

While technology has improved over the years, it isn't perfect. That is why we will always confirm your location with you, be prepared to give your address or description of where you are.

If you are on a landline phone we probably have your address. If you are on a cell phone there are a couple ways technology will assist us in finding you. The first is triangulation based off cell towers, this has improved but isn't perfect. The other and far more accurate is when your phone sends the GPS coordinates, similar to ordering an Uber/Lyft.

It happens, all, the, time. Don't worry, you won't be in trouble for making an accidental 911 call. Please stay on the phone and wait for the dispatcher and cooperate with their questions. Frequently people hang up when they call 911 thinking it didn't go through, but we still get an abandoned call notification and will make attempts to reach you back. If you see an unknown number calling you back, it is probably us ensuring you're safe.

Many phones and smart devices have features that will automatically call 911 when certain buttons are pressed on the sides of the device or when they detect a fall. Know how to operate your device and if you don't want the service, go to your settings and disable it. We've had many interesting calls from people mowing their, skiing and event playing football.

Staffed 24 hours a day 7 days a week, our 13 Communications Officers, a Communications Team Leader and a Communications Supervisor provide professional dispatching services to the citizens and visitors to Beltrami County. All of our dedicated staff are Telephonic CPR certified and go through a rigorous training program that typically lasts six to nine months. We have a robust training program to ensure we meet the emergency needs of our community.

If you are interested in a Telecommunicator/Communications Officer career and would like to learn more, contact our 911 Supervisor to arrange a tour and learn more about what they do.

It is important that we are able to find you when you need us. If you live in the county, make sure you have a blue and white 911 address sign. If you need one for a property that does not have an address, you can find an application form on the addressing page on our website. If you need a replacement sign for one that is damaged or missing, you can report it to us here.

Contact Us

911 Supervisor 
Emergency Communications
613 Minnesota Ave. NW 
Bemidji, MN 56601


Phone: 218-333-8320 
Fax:     218-755-9322

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