This Tuesday I’m teaching two main things…
First: The phrase you can use when you want to call the police on someone but your not quite sure what to say.
The phrase is, “I would like to report a suspicious person.”
You’re not saying the person is a criminal. You’re not making any accusations. You know in your gut something doesn’t seem right and you think it should be called in. You know… “See something, say something”.
Second: How to talk to the police so you get the results you want.
Look up the police codes for your local area and notice some of the key phrases.
For example, maybe a 10-16 is a “Disturbance”. That means you use the word “disturbance” when you call in. Or a 10-38 is a “Property destruction in progress” or 10-38a “Property destruction report”. Do you see the subtle difference?
Of course, only use the phrase not the code! Never call in and say, “I need an officer to take a 10-38a.” You’ll just sound like a weirdo wanna’ be.
The basic idea is to know the phrases that the police use, such as “loitering” or “weapon implied but none seen”, and use those phrases to that the police are dispatched correctly and are prepared to quickly resolve the problem. You don’t want to waste time having to explain to the officer information s/he doesn’t need or want.
Wrong: “So the other day I saw a homeless guy digging thought the dumpster out back and I thought it was kinda’ weird. He just seemed to be hanging out and now I think he was, like, watching people. So today I come in and find that it looks like someone tried to pry open the back door. Blah, blah, blah…”
Right: “I want to report some property damage from a possible burglary attempt.”
Do I even have to add this warning… Never lie and don’t exaggerate thinking you’ll get a faster police response or whatever. The cops will figure out your lie and you’ll end up losing credibility (and rightly so). Then the next time you need the police, the dispatcher may add on to the end of the run. “Be advised, we’ve been out there before and the caller is a 16b (mentally disturbed person).”