Helpful Tips

When calling the police, there are several things to keep in mind that can expediate response time.

    • Remain calm. Understandably there are times when it is hard to keep your composure,
      but the sooner our dispatchers can understand you, the sooner the police will be
      at your door.

   • Provide your name, address, telephone number and where you are calling
     from. We need this information to proceed with the call. Failure to provide this
     information can complicate matters, therefore slowing response time.

   When calling about an emergency, our dispatchers will ask you the following:

           •  Where is this happening?
           •  When did this happen?
           •  What is happening now? Why?
           •  Who is involved? Descriptions of those involved?
           •   Is anyone injured?
           •  Are there weapons involved. And if so, what kind of weapon...handgun,
               shotgun, knife, razor.
           •  Location of the suspect and or direction of travel.

Include the exact address or location of the emergency. Provide nearby intersections, landmarks, building name, floor, room or apartment number, as well as directions to the address if possible. Be prepared to answer any questions that the dispatcher may have. Dont hang up until the dispatcher advises you to do so.

In many emergencies, the dispatcher will ask you to describe people or vehicles involved.

When describing an individual, start at the top of his or her head, and work your way down.

          •   What is the race and sex of the individual?
          •   How tall is the individual?
          •   What is the hair color?
          •   What was the individual wearing? Start at the head and work down.
          •   Did the individual have a mustache, beard, accent, limp, glasses or anything
              unusual that might make them stand out?

When describing a vehicle, the dispatcher will ask you the following:
         •   Plate number
         •   Color
         •   Make and model of vehicle
         •   Body style
         •   Distinctive markings......dents, tinted windows, bumber stickers, etc.

Teaching your children to call the police.

         •  Teach your children their full names, their parents full names, their address  
            and phone number with area code.
         •  Teach your children where you work, your phone number at work.
         •  Teach your children what an emergency is, and when it is appropriate
             to call the police.
         •  Teach your children to call the police first in an emergency, not you at work.