Posted by: Pronola on Jun 28, 2012
If you call 911 either due to a crime or to report suspicious activity or witness information to the New Orleans Police Department, please use these guidelines. It will get you better service, and give the police unit responding the information they need in a timely manner.
1. Leave at least your first name and a phone number where you can be reached. If you do not want police at your door, please just say you will talk to officers by phone ONLY. They will honor that. You may have further information you do not realize you have that is critical, or information that the operator did not realize needed to be gathered on the initial call. If you don’t leave a name and/or a callback number and there is either a serious shortage of units at that time, or more serious violent crime ongoing in the area, your call COULD be simply marked up as unfounded.
2. If the address you are calling about is an apartment, MAKE SURE you give the apartment number to the operator, even if you are not asked for it. Crucial time is wasted trying to locate apartments or make callbacks to get apartment numbers. The same goes for any codes that are needed to get into gated areas. Make sure your children and anyone staying in your home knows all of this information or that it is posted where they can read it off to a police operator if needed.
3. If the area you are calling from has a lack of posted addresses, or is not well lighted, if you are not endangering yourself, be prepared to flag down responding units.
4. If you are calling in a medical emergency, give as much information as you can about the victim/patient – age, type of medical problem, clothing they are wearing, landmarks if not at a posted address.
5. Information that is generally NOT reported to the police and should be when reporting the perpetrator of a crime, or a suspicious person: detailed clothing description (long or short sleeves, long or short pants, shirt color and distinguishing stripes or writing, type of shoes and color), hair style (long, short, bald, dreads, curls, color, etc.), direction they went, any tattoos, piercings, or scars that are visible.
6. Information that is needed when reporting a hit-and-run vehicle or suspicious vehicle: make and model, as close as possible to the year (is it older or newer model, shape of grill or taillights), type of tires, any tinting on windows, any stripes, dents, or missing chrome on the vehicle, any outstanding stickers, how many occupants if you can tell, the direction taken.
7. While waiting for police units to arrive, write down everything you remember, no matter how tiny and silly sounding.
8. If you are calling about drug dealing in your area, attempt to observe where the drugs are being kept while remaining safe – under a house, in a mailbox, in a vehicle, in a piece of clothing, etc. This gives the police reasonable cause to look for the drugs. Make sure this information is given to the operator on the initial call so that responding units can act immediately.
9. If you are unfortunately the victim of a crime, do NOT take the time to call your mother, brother, sister, father, cousin, neighbor, or BFF. Call the police first. Time is of the essence. If the crime is ongoing do NOT call someone else to call 911 for you! Call them yourself even if you cannot stay on the phone. Give a brief description of what’s going on, the location, and hang up.
10. FIRST AND FOREMOST – do NOT place yourself in danger to gather any of this information. Make sure you and those around you are safe first.
This may sound like an impossible amount of information to gather in the face of an emergency. Train yourself NOW, before the emergency occurs, to be observant. Practice describing in your mind vehicles around you at stop lights. Practice taking in details when you pass people on the street. We humans do not use most of our brain because we don’t train our brain to take in the information. This is something you can do for free, In very little time, that may make the difference in solving a crime or not.