Reporting Crimes to Dispatch & Law Enforcement

by Bill Froehlich

from the Column “Bill on Justice” on Scanner Group

Today, we are going to discuss an example of “WHAT” has occurred, and what to do about it. You come home to find your front door glass broken out and the door ajar. What do you do?

DO NOT GO IN! This may be a burglary in progress. The bandit may actually still be inside the residence. Call 911 and remember the order of things to say:

My name is Joe Doakes
My address is 500 Somewhere Street
It looks like my house has been burglarized and there may be someone still inside.

Do not talk over the dispatcher as she requests information. She is typing your location and descriptions and getting it out to responding units as you are speaking to her. She has a logical order of things to ask.

You can also request to stay on the line with the dispatcher until help arrives.

As you wait for law enforcement to arrive, get away from the front door and take up a safe position of observation. You assure your safety and allow yourself as the observer to collect visual evidence.

  1. If anyone exits the residence, do not pursue the bandit.
  2. Give a complete description of the bandit to the dispatcher as he runs away.
  3. Remember your description process:
    a. White male, red and black striped jacket, blue levis, black shoes, white ball cap 6’ tall, 220 pounds, full beard, sunglasses
  4. Direction of travel and street name.

Continue to watch the house, there may be another bandit inside that may run out as well.

This information, when given efficiently, allows the dispatcher to send the units quickly to your location. This results in a more effective Plan “C”. A Plan “C” refers to a plan of containment to position units in a loose perimeter to catch the bandit as he flees the area.

Many times, the bandit is caught by arriving units when a correct direction of travel, coupled with a complete description is given to the dispatcher.

By following this procedure, you multiply the chances of the bandit being apprehended tenfold, as well as assuring your safety.

Remember to practice your observations skills!