How often is calling the PD too often?

How often is calling the PD too often?

This is a discussion on How often is calling the PD too often? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; While this is a weird question, let me explain. Over the last six years living in this town I have had contact with various levels ...

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Thread: How often is calling the PD too often?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    How often is calling the PD too often?

    While this is a weird question, let me explain. Over the last six years living in this town I have had contact with various levels of state and local law enforcement a total of eight times (not including calling in back up for the Capitol or for the Historical Society, since we rely on various statewide local departments for various historical sites and the HP for the Capitol).

    I've called in a drunk driver once, a fire, a couple of people that have hit my vehicle, a break-in at my place, called BCI about a couple of marijuna plants growing in the flower beds twice, and a domestic dispute tonight.

    The main reason I'm asking is because my name is on about eight non-job related police reports and just guessing thirty or forty statewide job included.

    While it may not be a big deal, there's always that whole crying wolf "fear."
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
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  2. #2
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    It can be a hard dividing line between - ''I really don't want to bother them'' and ''I'd better call this in''.

    The best we can do is be responsible citizens and do what our conscience and instincts dictate, at the time. Many will say ''better safe than sorry'' and on balance probably better to call in than find out later it should have been done.

    What really yanks my chain - very severely - is the folks who dial 911 for total and utter crap reasons - like ''my dog just puked - what should I do?" Then we have hoax callers, including those to fire dept - all these get me very riled up - as someone could be suffering because of time wasted on nothing.

    Sorry - pet peeve there!
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    Thumbs up My Local PD

    They WANT to be called any time there is a problem.
    In fact I had a similar concern when my work alarm system was constantly malfunctioning over the course of 2 to 3 months.

    It did not bother them at all and they always showed up PDQ.

    Hey...you're one of the good guys...they probably love having you call. You're a responsible citizen and not apathetic like many folks. I would not give it a passing thought.
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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array PatrioticRick's Avatar
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    Calling 911 always seems to bother me, because I don't think most things justify a real emergency, like a car alarm or a suspicious vehicle, etc. So I call the sheriff's office direct and let them decide. Of course in my little ho-dunk town, any excuse to haul a$$ across town and they're there.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakotaranger View Post
    How often is calling the PD too often?
    Meaning, will it influence the worthiness of future response from the PD? It shouldn't, of course. It would be a real crime, if it did. No doubt. However, stranger things have happened. In a small town, anything's possible.

    I've called in a drunk driver once, a fire, a couple of people that have hit my vehicle, a break-in at my place, called BCI about a couple of marijuna plants growing in the flower beds twice, and a domestic dispute tonight.
    You sound like you're going through life with your eyes wide open and calling when appropriate. Can't imagine any honorable LEO would ever consider it other than a good effort, judiciously applied.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Array palmgopher's Avatar
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    i work as a dispatch/calltaker and to be honest if things just happen and they are all legitamate stuff i would say you are ok. As for the stupid stuff we get all the time it happens a lot more than you could even imagine and with the weirdest stuff you could imagine. Anything posted on this site happens a lot more than you could believe. I talk to more crazy people in one day than i thought was in the town....lmao. As for 911, life or death, fights, large arguments and stuff like that. Dont call cause someone stole you car, unless they ARE stealing it at that time. I actually got a call to find out if school was cancelled because of weather!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so pissed!

  7. #7
    Member Array DakotaXD's Avatar
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    Where I live we have a CrimeStoppers line that would be the place where I would call in, drug/suspcious activity, and the like. Also a non-emergency number that goes to the comm-center/911 dispatchers, you can remain anonymous on both of the above mentioned options. Just my .02 worth.
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  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Dakotaranger's Avatar
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    The deal is it's just a slow night at work (which I've told my boss means I'm doing my job right.) after calling in that domestic I just got to thinking about how many times I actually had come in contact with the PD or the HP when it was non-job related. This was after I told my sister that I almost had to shoot a dog and would have led to some questions I really wouldn't have had wanted to answer.

    At night I know they switch the non-emergency number over to 911, and again it's just the what if they think it's crying wolf syndrome?
    "[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons.
    They are left in full possession of them."

    Zacharia Johnson (speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention,25 June 1778)"The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." ~Alexander Hamilton

  9. #9
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    It sounds like you are doing the right thing, and not something stupid like calling 911 for the pot plants.

    If the local authorities switch their day number to "911" at night I'd like to think they assume the responsibility for making the decisions on priorities.
    Rick

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakotaranger View Post
    At night I know they switch the non-emergency number over to 911, and again it's just the what if they think it's crying wolf syndrome?
    If you keep calling and they keep going out and finding the stuff you called about, it doesn't bother us and there's no 'crying wolf' issue. Like Chris said, it's the knuckleheads that keep calling about stupid stuff that drive us crazy.
    No worries, that's what we are there for.
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  11. #11
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    It's better to call them and not need them then be in a situation where you should have called them.

    There are a lot of situations where documenting your actions (or someone else's) can really help down the road, and where failure to do so can cause you unnecessary problems.

  12. #12
    Member Array soundwave's Avatar
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    +1 on palmgopher's sentiments (small town dispatcher here)... Just remember a couple things...

    #1 -- whether you call 9-1-1 or the non-emergency number, you're talking to the same people. 9-1-1 is just a convenience, is prioritized (e.g. answered first) and is easier for people to remember because it's universally used in the USA... But the same people will answer both and take calls the same way on both lines.

    #2 -- A dispatcher cannot assume that you are "crying wolf" about anything. It is a dispatcher's responsibility to respond to any call assuming the worst case scenario given the details of the incident.

    #3 -- 9-1-1 is used for life & death or serious bodily harm incidents or incidents where it's likely we can catch the BGs (e.g. stolen vehicle, break-in, assaults -- that are in-progress or just happened < 5 mins ago), that's why it's there. For anything else, just use the regular number. We have a limited amount of 9-1-1 lines and they need to be used for their purpose. If you are calling 9-1-1 for a non-emergency and I answer it (as well as with many dispatchers) I will tell you to hang up and call the non-emergency line simply out of principal alone... Even if I am the same person going to answer it again.

    #4 -- If I can answer the phone and within a couple of words know your first and last name, your address, phone number and the exact time of your last call without you telling me, you're calling too much. Seriously, if you have something important to give us, give it to us, that's why we get paid the "big bucks". lol If it's not something that's important we'll tell you or have a nice LEO let you know in person.

    Don't worry about it, though. If you're a "winter visitor" like we have all over where I live and you're calling about kids playing and making too much noise... And you bought a house behind a school playground (not kidding, actual call), then yes, I'll tell you it's a B.S. call. Otherwise, as CopperKnight said, if we keep finding the stuff you're calling about, it's all good. ;O)

    Cheers.
    Last edited by soundwave; August 25th, 2006 at 12:58 PM. Reason: emphasis on #3

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array SixBravo's Avatar
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    I'm 25 and I've probably called 911 that many times. Most of it would be because I was a bouncer for awhile, but I have called in numerous drunk drivers, assualts, car accidents and even a "shots possibly fired." Turned out the shots fired was a tranformer exploding and some lady screaming, probably in surprise. Cops thanked me for calling it in, the first responding officer actually told me he would have done the same thing.

    I've got my name on at least 25 or 30 reports and all but one were responses to my calls. Never once been told I needed to re-evaluate my calls. I keep 3 LEO Non-Emergency in my phone - two local towns and the local Sherrifs Office.

    I think you're doing really well, man. Keep up the good work.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Keep calling them in as needed, eventually someone will let you know if you are doing something wrong; besides, its their job (LE/RESCUE) to investigate/respond.

  15. #15
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    Living in a small county (800 Sq MI), but with only two Sheriff Deputies on duty at any given time, they've always told me to call, stressing that calling lets them decide priority. If non-life threatening, their action may be deferred at their choice, dependent on other calls and "triage".

    They are always cordial, and appear to have keen interest in soliciting civilian help and additional "eyes & ears" for the department.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; August 25th, 2006 at 11:55 PM.


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