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How to report a crime

Jeff Brown1

  • Call 9-1-1 for Police Emergency Incidents. A police emergency incident is when IMMEDIATE RESPONSE OF THE POLICE IS NECESSARY in order to protect life and property.
  • Call from a safe place. Tell the public safety telecommunicator/call taker if the crime is in progress.
  • Remain calm. Speak clearly and slowly. Tell the public safety telecommunicator/call taker as factually as possible what is going on, including the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY and HOW of the situation.
  • Answer all questions. Midway through your call, police will be dispatched. Provide the best description that you can, including the suspect's name, age, sex, height, weight, clothing, etc. If a vehicle is involved, provide the make, model, color and license plate number if possible. If WEAPONS are involved such as handguns, rifles, knives, bottles, etc. IMMEDIATELY tell the public safety telecommunicator/call taker and provide all available information regarding the weapon and subject possessing it. Also, provide information if alcohol or drugs are involved and if EMS is needed.
  • Listen for instructions. Do exactly what the public safety telecommunicator/call taker says to do.
  • Remain on the line. Do not hang up until you are told to do so. The public safety telecommunicator/call taker is responsible for the safety of the responding police officers. We must have as much information about the situation as possible.

The information that you provide may make the difference in solving or preventing a crime. NEVER LIE to a 9-1-1 public safety telecommunicator/call taker. Such misrepresentation could result in criminal prosecution. It could also put the emergency responders at risk. It is a crime to knowingly and intentionally provide false information to the police.

Post your house number where it can be clearly seen from the street. It's the law in Oswego County!

Help prevent crime: 
You are not required to provide your name to report a crime. The public safety telecommunicator/call taker is trained to ask you your name because it greatly assists a criminal investigation.