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Calling in the Report to Police

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  • When you report something, dispatchers will have many questions. A few of the most important are:
    • What is happening?
    • Is anyone hurt?
    • Is this happening NOW; did it happen a few minutes ago; is it delayed? Police response differs greatly, according to the time delay.


  • Listen to the questions being asked. There may be a lot of them, but the information you are giving is being put into a computer that sends it right to the dispatcher. There is very little delay between you telling us and it being given out.


  • If a suspect or vehicle is involved in the situation, you will be asked for descriptions. In an emergency situation, you may only get a few of the items below; when time allows, try for as many as you can.
    • For persons:
      Race, sex, age, height, weight, hair color and style, eye color, complexion, physical marks (scars tattoos, deformities), and clothing description. Are any weapons involved?
    • For Vehicles:
      Color, year, make/model, body style, and tag number.


  • When vehicle accidents are called in by city residents, try to provide the following information:
    • the location (including whether it is in the road, in the parking lot, what business or complex it is in front of, if applicable).
    • Is anyone hurt? If yes, how seriously? Is anyone trapped in the vehicle?
    • Is there any spillage of gasoline, oil or chemical from the vehicle? This requires Fire Department response.
    • Vehicle descriptions, especially if it is in a parking lot.

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