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How to report a crime.

Dial 9-1-1 for all police emergencies. A police emergency is when IMMEDIATE POLICE RESPONSE IS NECESSARY to protect life and/or property. If a crime is actually occurring it is important that you TELL the 9-1-1 call-taker that the crime is IN PROGRESS. Stay calm and answer any questions that the call-taker may ask. STAY ON THE LINE. The 9-1-1 call-taker does not have to hang up in order to dispatch the police, fire, or EMS. Continue to update the situation and provide current information.


  • Do EXACTLY as the 9-1-1 call-taker instructs during the call. Provide any information or assistance that you can.
  • Tell 9-1-1 as factually as possible what persons, things and events have or are occurring. Briefly state the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHO, and WHY of the situation.
  • If WEAPONS are involved, i.e. handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives, broken bottles, etc. ADVISE 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY and provide information regarding whom and how many people have the weapons.
  • Give the best possible description that you can. The suspect's name, sex, age, height, weight, race, hair, eyes, clothing and scars, marks and tattoos.
  • If a vehicle is involved get the make, model, color, year and LICENSE PLATE NUMBER if possible.
  • STAY CALM AND STAY ON THE LINE and continue to answer any questions that 9-1-1 may ask. 9-1-1 call-takers are responsible for the safety of the responding officers as well as the public and will attempt to gather as much information about the situation as possible. We have been trained to ask if any weapons are involved, if any alcohol or drugs are involved, exactly who and how many people are involved and will always ask if anyone is injured and may need medical attention. The information that you, the caller, provide is crucial in determining whether the suspects will be apprehended.

Other tips:

YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GIVE YOUR NAME TO REPORT A CRIME. We have been trained to ask for your name and we will. A concerned and helpful citizen will assist the police in their investigation in any way possible and the information that you provide may well make the difference and PREVENT another similar situation from occurring.

NEVER LIE to 9-1-1 and falsely tell us a situation is more serious than it actually is just to get emergency help there quicker. Such a misrepresentation could result in the death or injury to another person who really needed the help before you did. Also, it is a criminal offense to intentionally and knowingly give false information to the police or emergency services. NEVER DO IT! Remember that someday you could be in need of help and require the help of others. Be willing to work with others during an emergency. Be a part of the TEAM. Help PREVENT CRIME and SAVE LIVES!


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