High Frequency Marketing
PR & Media Relations in Spanish - Website positioning

HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR POLICE DEPARTMENT

Laws and police procedures vary from city to city and state

to state. The information given here is of a general nature

and is not intended in any way to replace the procedures  and

recommendations of your law enforcement agency. Refer to

your law enforcement agency if there is any doubt as to the

procedures to be followed.

HELP THE POLICE HELP YOU

1. Keep an inventory of all valuables including descriptions

and serial numbers and photographs.

2. Mark TV,  VCR, computers, etc., with your driver's license

number preceded or followed by your two-letter state

abbreviation. (or use whatever ID number your department

suggests such as social security number). A driver's

license number is probably best. A police officer a

thousand miles away finding your TV in the trunk of a car

will have your name in a matter of minutes using the

driver's license number. If you have reported the  theft

to your department, the description and ANY serial number

will be entered into the National Crime Information Center

computer. If you don't know the item is missing and have

not reported it, then the driver's license number becomes

more valuable. The police in any state can teletype your

police department and have them contact you about any

questionable property.

CALLS FOR SERVICE

1. Know the telephone number for your police department. Not

just 911 but the regular number for routine business.

2. Use 911 only for emergencies involving imminent danger to

life and/or property. Most agencies do not have unlimited

personnel to answer 911  calls. If several people are

using 911 to report their cat in the tree or their

neighbor's loud music, then your real emergency will have

to wait until a line comes open.

3. Don't get upset when you call to report an incident or

inquire about a case and are switched to several different

people. The larger the agency, the more specialized it

is. Your call may be routed to the division handling your

type of problem or question such as traffic, juvenile,

detectives, burglary, and the list goes on. You may have

to talk to several people before finding the officer

actually assigned to your case, or to take your report.

4. Don't request that an officer come to your house if the

report you wish to give can be handled over the phone. If

there is nothing for the officer to see at your home or

other location, then give the report over the phone. Many

agencies have hired and trained civilian employees to give

information and take simple reports over the phone.

If your car has just been stolen,  give the information by

phone as quickly as possible using 911. Officers on the

street can be notified immediately and the information

entered into the national computer. Demanding to see an

officer in person will only delay this process and who's

to say the officer wont pass your car on the way to your

house to see what kind of car you own! It has happened!

This goes for burglary and other crimes where an officer

will need to know what he's looking for. Always give all

the information you can on the phone. Even though an

officer must come to your home to make a burglary

report, he may be able to spot your stolen blue and purple

"fratastatic wobulator" while he's enroute if you gave the

dispatcher that information.

DOCUMENT ALL CALLS

5. If you have a problem important enough to call the police

for, insist that a report be made, and ask for the case or

report number. Refer to this number when inquiring about

your case. If you  want to take action against your

neighbors for their loud parties or barking dogs, you'll

be in a better position to do so if all your calls to the

police concerning these matters are documented. This goes

for other types of "problem" cases also.

6. Don't expect police to make arrests for minor offenses

that are not occurring when they arrive. Police must

usually observe any minor violations in order to make an

arrest. Reports must be written, witnesses interviewed ,

evidence reviewed and warrants obtained. Felonies may be

a different matter. If you point to a fleeing suspect and

say "he just robbed me" or "he just broke into my house",

there will probably be an arrest made if the suspect can

be caught.

7. Police generally have no authority in "civil" matters such

as landlord/tenant disputes, property line disputes,

breaches of contract, employer/ employee disputes over pay

and other matters, and similar disputes. The police will

respond to prevent violence if necessary, and will inform

involved parties of their need to consult attorneys, small

claims court, etc.

INFORMATION USUALLY RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC

1.  Details of a crime, including the location, date and time.

2. The name of the victim.

3. The facts surrounding an arrest such as any resistance

encountered, and if any weapons were involved.

4. Identifying facts about a suspect. (except name until

formally charged)

5. A general description of evidence.

6. Names of investigating and/or arresting officers.

7. The nature of the charges to be filed and the court they

will be filed in.

INFORMATION NOT USUALLY RELEASED TO THE PUBLIC

1. Names of witnesses.

2. Information about confessions and statements, etc.

3. Lab results.

4. Criminal history information

5. Names of juveniles.

6.  Names of persons killed or injured until next-of-kin have

been notified.

7. Any information that, if released, would jeopardize an

investigation.

TIPS TO REMEMBER

1. Mark all valuables when practical with an engraving tool.

(your police agency may have a program allowing you to

borrow one) Know the license number and have the Vehicle

Identification Number recorded for your vehicles.

2. Secure your property.

3. Document all calls for police service by having a report made.

4. Get good descriptions of suspects and vehicles.

5. Consult your police agency or district attorney and find

out what your rights are concerning family violence and

crime victim compensation.

6. When you withhold information about a crime, you're not

hurting the police; only the crime victim!

 

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