Montana Highway Patrol Launches New Dispatch Number Today
Starting today, drivers on Montana’s highways have a new toll-free number to call for non-emergency traffic safety concerns: 1-855-MHP-3777 (647-3777).
Officials at the Montana Highway Patrol made the decision to change phone service carriers after monthly charges increased to nearly $7,575. Total monthly charges with the new carrier are estimated at $800, amounting to an annual savings of over $81,000.
“We had the same toll-free dispatch number for over 20 years,” said Colonel Kenton Hickethier of the Montana Highway Patrol. “However, we can now save some significant taxpayer dollars by switching phone service carriers, which means that we needed to change our toll-free number as well.”
Callers to the old MHP dispatch phone number will now hear a recording directing them to dial the new number. The MHP Communications Center, located in Helena, is staffed around the clock. Last year, its dispatchers handled over 54,250 calls from around the state asking for assistance with issues ranging from stranded motorists to reports of drunken drivers.
Colonel Hickethier emphasized that drivers should still call 911 for emergencies. “Calls to 911 ring directly into local communications centers, and get EMS teams moving sooner,” Colonel Hickethier said. “If the MHP number is dialed for a crash, our dispatchers then have to contact the local sheriff’s office, who in turn call EMS. This slows the initial medical response.”
Examples of when drivers should call 1-855-MHP-3777 include:
• Stranded motorists
• Hazardous road conditions
• Debris on the highway
• Suspicious activity at a rest area
• Intoxicated or dangerous drivers
To better assist personnel who answer the MHP dispatch number, motorists should have the following information readily available when calling:
• Cell phone number
• Vehicle description when applicable
• County location
• Highway location (mile marker is helpful)
A statewide outreach campaign starts today to inform the public of the new MHP dispatch phone number, and continues through the end of the summer.
The new number, 1-855-MHP-3777, was chosen to reflect Montana law enforcement’s symbolic ties to the historic vigilantes. For generations, the numbers 3-7-77 have been associated with the storied vigilantes who cleaned up the gold camps in 1864 and earned a place in history. The numbers have become a symbol of law and order, and appear on the shoulder patch and car door insignia of the Montana Highway Patrol.