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If you call 911, MN police might not respond until you give your name

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Police in Minneapolis are now asking 911 callers to give their name to dispatch before officers respond.

The new protocol went into effect on July 17, the day three police officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge.

It's an effort to protect officers from being lured into a dangerous situation by a fake 911 call.

But what if you want to be anonymous?

Some people are saying that having to provide a name on an emergency call might be putting the lives of officers ahead of the lives of the public.

Fox 9 interviewed an anonymous man from North Minneapolis who called 911 on Wednesday evening to report another man he says was screaming in the street and making threats near 36th St. and Queen Ave N.

When he called for help, the dispatch insisted on getting his name for "officer safety."

The caller told the news station that he didn't want to give his name, because the screaming man was a neighbor and he was afraid of retaliation. Two dispatchers told him that they may not send an officer to respond because of concerns about officers' safety, Fox said.

Minneapolis police released this statement:

"The MPD has encouraged dispatchers to obtain as much information from 911 callers as possible; asking them to get the caller’s name or relevant information. Callers can request to not be seen by a responding officer in order for them to feel more comfortable in calling in, and they can request to not be contacted for follow up. We are asking dispatchers to get caller’s names, if possible, in an attempt to sift through fictitious calls that may be used to entice officers to an area where their safety, and the safety of others, could be jeopardized.”

And a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department told WCCO that if someone won't give their name on a 911 call, dispatch will try to get additional information before sending an officer, and it will change how police respond to a reported crime.

Police still have an anonymous tip line for residents to report crimes or criminal activity in the city of Minneapolis, but it is not to be used for emergencies.

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