Straight Talk: Knowing how to report a crime makes all the difference

| June 23, 2011 | 0 Comments

Chris Graves
Deputy Director, Directorate of Emergency Services, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii 



WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD — Although all of us hope we never need the police, we should know how to reach them, when to report a crime and how to contact the police.

The local emergency number is 911.

Contact the police as soon as you discover a crime has been committed, when you suspect a crime has been committed or when a crime is in the process of being committed.

Whenever you observe suspicious events, report the incidents to your local police department, even if you are not the only person observing the action. Never assume that the next person will make the call. Don’t wait to talk it over with friends or neighbors, because valuable police response time is lost in the process.

When in doubt, call the police.

Suspicious activity includes someone entering your neighbor’s home while the family is away, with no apparent lawful purpose of being there, or someone carrying property such as TVs, radios or stereos at an unusually late hour or in an unusual place. Call it in.

Other suspicious activity to report is the sound of shattering glass, which could be the sign of a burglary or vandalism in progress, or anyone being forced into a vehicle, which could be the victim of a possible abduction. Immediately call the local police.

You will be asked for your name, address and phone number in case additional information is needed from you. However, you may remain anonymous and any information you provide is kept in confidence.

An officer will obtain the necessary information and proceed with an investigation.

Be alert and observant.

Police need to know what happened, where and when the event occurred, and if anyone was injured. Names or physical descriptions of individuals involved are also helpful. Descriptions include facial features, type of clothing worn and an estimated age of the individuals. Features and physical descriptions can greatly assist police in the apprehension of criminals.

Police also need a description of any vehicle involved, including color, model, year, and most importantly, license plate numbers.

If you are reporting a crime such as a burglary, breaking-and-entering or theft, the police need as much information as possible about the property taken. This information includes a list of the property, value and serial numbers.

Police advise all residents and businesses to maintain an up-to-date record of the serial numbers of all appliances, tools, electronics, firearms and all other valuables. Keep a detailed and accurate description of all valuables as well.

Emergency contacts

Call 911 to report emergencies, or call the Schofield Barracks Military Police Station at 655-7114 or the Fort Shafter MP Station at 438-7114.


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Category: News, Police Call, Standing Columns

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