- WHAT TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE CALLING 911
- POSSIBLE IMPACTS OF CALLING THE POLICE
- MENTAL HEALTH
- VICTIM SUPPORT
- SEXUAL ASSAULT
- IMMIGRATION/UNDOCUMENTED HELP
- HUMAN TRAFFICKING
When appropriate, the organizations listed below may be used as effective alternatives to calling the police or 911. These local and community-led organizations can provide emergency, crisis services, and/or interventions in order to address situations in which people may otherwise call the police. All of these services are free and confidential.
If you are having a crisis and wish to avoid contact with law enforcement, the Counseling Center’s 24/7 Crisis Line (718) 687-5356 will directly connect you to a licensed professional who can engage with you in the best way possible.
Mental health professionals are mandatory reporters and subject to state and federal laws. As such, they are required to contact or involve law enforcement in the case of child abuse, abuse of a vulnerable adult, or if they determine there is an imminent risk of violence.
In situations where there is a threat of imminent harm or danger (e.g. fire; intruder in your home; threat of violence; brandishing of a weapon, etc.) or health emergency (e.g. heart attack; serious physical injury), to yourself or others, contacting the appropriate emergency response agency (i.e. police, fire, EMS) by calling 911 will likely prompt the most immediate response.
- Is there a threat of imminent serious harm or danger? Is this an emergency that requires an immediate response? Could someone be seriously injured if I don’t respond immediately?
- If yes, call 911 immediately.
- Can I put up with this and be okay?
- No. I need to respond.
- Can I handle this on my own, is this something I can try and talk out with the person?
- No. I need back-up.
- Is there a friend/professor/staff/advisor or someone whom I can call to help me out?
- No, I need a professional.
- Can we use mediation to talk through what’s happening or is there an emergency response hotline I can use?
If I call the police do I understand how involving the police could impact me and the other person(s)?
There may be situations where there are appropriate alternatives to contacting the police. Some individuals may feel more threatened than protected by police officers – and there have been situations where police response has exacerbated a situation and caused grave harm to individuals.
Following is a list of resources you may wish to consider as alternatives. These alternatives are not intended to address all situations. If you or someone else is in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.
New York Peace Institute
CALL: 718-834-6671 (Brooklyn)
M-W: 12pm-8pm Th-F: 9am-5pm
TEXT: “WELL” at 65173
- Free & confidential mental health support
- 200+ Languages
- Phone/text/chat access to mental health and substance use services
New York State COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline
Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 741741
- Serves anyone, in any type of crisis, providing access to free, 24/7 support via text.
Disaster Distress National Helpline
- Crisis and emotional support for people experiencing distress and other mental health concerns
These resources are not intended for use when there is an immediate threat of physical harm to yourself or others. Rather, they are provided as sources of support for victims of domestic violence. If you or someone you know is facing an immediate threat of violence, calling 911 can provide the most immediate response.
Violence Intervention Program
Safe Horizon’s 24hr Domestic Violence Hotline
Safe Horizon’s Community Program Helpline
Safe Horizon’s Crime Victims Hotline
National Runaway Safeline
Safe Horizon’s Rape & Sexual Assault Hotline
CALL: 1-212-227-3000 (NYC Only)
National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline
NYC Gay & Lesbian Anti-Violence Project
- 24 hrs.
LGBT National Help Center Hotline
- M-F 4pm -12am, Sat. 12-5pm
- Free & confidential peer support and local resources
- Staffed by transgender people for transgender people
- For transgender people in a crisis, from struggling with gender identity to thoughts of self-harm
NYC Poison Control Center
National Detention & Abuse Reporting Hotline
CALL: 209-757-3733 (from outside)
M-F 6am-8pm PST
- Find & Connect to Family
- Monitor Abuse
- Elevate Stories
- Connect to Resources
Law Enforcement Support Center Detainee Hotline
- 24/7 & Toll-Free
- Translation services provided
- Will assist in contacting federal immigration authorities for detained persons who believe they may be victims of crime and for U.S. Citizens or residents being unlawfully detained
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC) Hotline:
United We Dream
- To report a raid
- M-F 6am – 9pm PST
- National LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Legal Emergency Help
- M-F 9:30am-5:30pm
Immigrant Defense Project Hotline
- For people or families of those facing in detention and/or facing deportation
Immigration Legal Help
- Free, safe immigration help from ActionNYC
National Human Trafficking Hotline
TEXT: “BEFREE” or “HELP” at 233733
- 200+ Languages
- Trained and experienced Anti-Trafficking Advocate will speak with you about your needs, options, resources
- Anonymously report tips, seek services, and for help.
Safe Horizon Anti-Trafficking Program
- Culturally and linguistically sensitive services
- Supportive counseling and empowerment groups
- Assistance with basic needs
- Legal Assistance
- Advocacy through the criminal justice system
- Linkage to shelter/housing options and other services