July 4, 2015

About Calling 9-1-1

Call 9-1-1 as soon as you are able about all suspicious or criminal activity! Anything that seems slightly "out of place" or is happening at an unusual time could be criminal activity. Don't worry that you're bothering the police or about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove to be unfounded. Think about what might happen to people or property if you don't act.

Never place yourself in harm's way trying to get details about suspicious or criminal activity that you observe. Details can help police a lot, but it's very important that if you need to get to a safe place, you do that before you call.

If you're driving when you observe suspicious or criminal activity find a safe place to pull over and park to make your 9-1-1 call. Your call may be garbled or can disconnect if you're moving, and it's safer if you don't talk while driving.

When contacting 9-1-1 it's important for you to be able to articulate:

  • Your location and phone number if calling from a cell/mobile phone.
  • Who you observed (a description).
  • What did you see? Be specific.
  • Where was it?
  • When did you see it?
  • Why in your opinion was it suspicious? Remember, you are more aware of what's normal for our neighborhood than anyone else, but you need to be able to communicate that.

To describe a person, provide information on as many of the following as possible:

  • Race, sex, and age.
  • Height, weight, and hair color.
  • Peculiarities like scars, tattoos, missing limbs - any noticeable features.
  • Weapons, if any.
  • Clothing description. Type, color, coat, hat, shoes...
  • Method and direction of travel.

To describe a vehicle, try to provide:

  • License plate of vehicle (most important).
  • Year, make, and model of vehicle - at least the type of vehicle.
  • Color of vehicle.
  • Damage or outstanding features (one headlight, broken taillight, logos, special paint, special rims/tires, roof rack, antennae etc.)