How To Call The Police Anonymously
RUTH DE JAUREGUI
Remaining anonymous in our digital world isn’t easy, especially when you have to call the police. Whether you’re reporting a crime in progress, a meth house down the block, or a case of suspected child abuse, you might not want anyone to know that you were the one who did the right thing.
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Your Child Might Not Learn A Lesson
If you call the police about a mild offense, like when your child refuses to sit in time-out, the police aren’t going to do anything beyond talk to your child. Police usually just give kids a warning or tell them to “behave,” but there is little else they can do.
Additionally, receiving a warning can backfire. Children sometimes conclude that having the police called isn’t a big dealand maybe even think it was excitingbecause nothing happened to them. Losing privileges for 24 hours is likely to be more effective than a brief scolding.
Tbps Launches New Video Series Titled Our Call
Theres a lot more that goes into policing than you might think, and the variety of services offered by our front-line officers is nothing short of astonishing.
In this episode of Our Call, Cst. Amanda Zappitelli explains how theres no such thing as a typical day, and the importance of being able to adjust emotional gears from call to call.
Our Call is a new video series, the goal of which is to give first- hand insight into the work of the Thunder Bay Police Service.
This is the premier episode of the series, which showcases some of the challenging and unusual calls our officers respond to.
Our Call episodes are stories told by TBPS officers in their own words. Each episode combines video from police calls with interviews by the officers involved.
In addition to the tremendous evidentiary and operational value that body worn and in-car video brings to the Thunder Bay Police Service, this technology has also created an opportunity to bring the public inside the world of policing.
We look forward to releasing the premier video as well as additional episodes of Our Call in the months to come. Each episode will be available through the Thunder Bay Police Services Facebook and YouTube pages.
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Crimes In Progress Or Just Witnessed
If a crime is in progress, or you have just witnessed or experienced a crime, try to get to safety first.
- immediately and try to stay calm.
- Be alert of your surroundings and try to make mental notes.
- When talking to the 911 dispatcher, keep in mind the following:
- The first question you will be asked is, “Where is your emergency?”
- Give the dispatcher as specific an address as possible.
- If you don’t know the exact address, try to provide a street name or to identify landmarks around you. It is extremely important to provide as much detail about your location as possible.
All 911 calls can be connected to a translator if foreign language assistance is needed. Do not make prank calls to 911. Prank 911 calls, which take dispatchers away from callers whose lives might be in danger, are punishable by law.
For Which Behavior Should I Call The Police
Parents who are willing to get the police involved ask me how to know when its actually time to call the police? In other words, what specific behaviors would constitute a good reason for calling the police?
For example, if your child grabs a book and throws it across the room, I dont think you call the police. Hold him accountable with an appropriate consequence, but minor damage is not worth calling the police.
But if he punches holes in the wall, smashes furniture, or does more serious damage to your home or property, I think you tell him:
Next time you lose control like that, Im going to call the police.
And if he does it again, you follow through. Thats when you make the call.
To put it another way, I think you should consider calling the police when you see a pattern of behavior thats unsafe and threatening to others.
Make it clear to your child that calling the police is the consequence for his abusive, destructive, or criminal behavior. Make it clear that his choices determine whether or not the police show up. And, if the police are called, then he has the opportunity to learn from that consequence and to make a better choice next time.
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When And How To Call The Police In The Us
It is good to know what to do when there is an emergency. Knowing when to call the police is important. When you call the police, you can help protect yourself and contribute to being a good citizen. You can call the police from any phone in any place in the USA by dialing 911. Also, learn what to do if you , who the police are, and their responsibilities.
Wont My Child End Up With A Permanent Record
Parents ask me, Will my child have a record for the rest of his life? It really depends on where you live and the seriousness of the charges.
But, most states have provisions whereby juvenile records are sealed or expunged when they become adults. Theres no access to it and the public cant find out about it.
Nevertheless, having a record can affect getting a job, joining the military, or even qualifying for public housing. Thats why I understand that parents dont want their kid to have a record. Thats one of the reasons this is a hard decision.
So ask yourself, Is this behavior dangerous enough that it warrants me taking this action? How dangerous is he, really?
Personally, Id rather have a child learn to be in control of himself and have a juvenile record than be out of control and have no apparent future.
Be aware that many kids blackmail their parents by saying, If you call the police, Ill get a record. Or Theyre going to send me to juvie. They manipulate their parents this way.
But I think if the abusive, violent, and destructive behavior doesnt change then your child is going to have much bigger problems than a juvenile record. Make no bones about it, someday hes going to get an adult record. Out-of-control juvenile behavior becomes adult criminal behavior the day he turns 18. And if hes already 18 and his behavior is criminal, then maybe he needs a criminal record.
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Can I Handle This On My Own
Before calling the police, consider how you might handle the situation yourself. If youre worried about activity in your neighborhood, take preventative measures by adding a home security system or camera to protect your property.
In other cases, addressing the issue calmly and logically can go a long way. For example, if you find yourself in an argument with someone after a fender bender or in a disagreement with your neighbor, take a step back.
Resorting to insults and threats isnt constructive or helpful. Some basic conflict resolution skills like these may help.
The Outcome Might Be Out Of Your Hands
When you call the police, you may not have control over how they respond. Their response will depend on your childs age and the severity of the issue. Even if you say you dont want your child charged with a crime, you may not have a choice. Remember that sometimes state laws dictate that charges be filed after you make the phone call.
From there, the court system has control over what happens to your child, not you. While there are situations that warrant a call to the police, be aware of the potential consequences before you pick up the phone.
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It Could Change Your Relationship
Contacting the police about your child’s misbehavior is likely to take a toll on your relationship, especially if the situation was not dangerous or life-threatening. Your child may feel a deep sense of betrayal and may lose trust in you. A damaged relationship with your child can lead to increased behavioral challenges. Rather than thinking that you’re there to help them, your child might assume that you’re out to get them.
Tell Your Child That You Will Call The Police
If calling the police is a choice youre ready and willing to make, then you should tell your child your intentions in a clear and direct manner. In a calm moment, when things are going well, you can say:
The other night you pushed your mother. If that happens again, Im calling the police.
Be matter-of-fact and business-like about it. Just let him know what you will do. And mean it.
If you dont mean it, if you dont follow through, then your words are empty. Its just another empty threat. And with each empty threat, your childs contempt for you grows. And your authority shrinks until your authority is gone and your child is in charge.
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What Happens When You Call The Police
Most American police departments have a communication center. The communication center staff reach police officers on the radio in their vehicles. Individual police officers also carry headsets, like earphones. Police cars have a computer linked to a network. The computer allows them to view vehicle information, criminal records, and other sensitive information.
When To Call 911
Police are there to call in an emergency and for other reasons.
- A crime, especially if is still in progress, such as a theft or burglary
- A car crash, especially if someone is injured
- A fire
- A medical emergency, such as heart attack, uncontrollable bleeding, or allergic reaction
- Domestic violence or suspicion of a child being neglected, physically or sexually abused
- Anything else that seems like an emergency
You may also call the police when there is suspicious activity:
- Someone wandering through yards in the neighborhood this could be a sign that the person is trying to break in into a house
- Someone trying to open car doors this could be a sign that the person is trying to steal a car
Do not assume someone else has already called the police when something suspicious is happening. People hesitate to call the police for fear of danger or of getting involved. However, the police want to help prevent crime.
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How To Call The Police In A Non
Dial 311 on your home phone or cell phone. 311 is the non-emergency equivalent to 911, created by the Baltimore Police Department and endorsed by President Bill Clinton. 311 service hasn’t spread to every city in the United States so your region may not have access to this non-emergency help line.
Use the features on your smartphone aimed to help you connect to services in your community. For example, open the voice recognition application available on most smartphones, then speak the words “call the police non-emergency number.” Your phone will dial the number or provide you with a list of numbers to chose from.
About the Author
A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She’s also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women’s self esteem.
What To Do Instead Of Calling The Police
These alternatives can help keep communities safe for everyone.
For the past two weeks, Americans have been hearing testimony in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd. Theyve seen the video of Floyd saying I cant breathe while being held to the ground for over nine minutes before his death. Theyve witnessed or been part of the uprisings that took place around the country last summer in response to the deaths of Floyd and other Black Americans at the hands of police. They know the names of Breonna Taylor, Botham Jean, Tamir Rice, and too many other Black people killed by law enforcement in the last few years alone.
Now more than ever, even people who previously had little personal experience with police brutality are learning about the racist history of policing and becoming interested in alternative ways to keep communities safe without calling the cops. Still, in a society where the police are presented as the solution to problems from noisy neighbors to serious violence, it can be hard to know where to begin.
Fortunately, organizers have been working on this for years. People who are often the most criminalized and targeted by police like BIPOC communities, poor communities, sex workers, and immigrants already often have systems in place to not get the police involved, Misha Viets van Dyk, national chapter organizer with the group Showing Up for Racial Justice, told Vox.
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Providing First Aid Vehicle Assistance Tourist Information And Public Education
Police agencies are available year-round, 24 hours a day, so citizens call the police department not only when they are in trouble but in inconvenient situations as well. As a result, police services go beyond combating crime to assisting with vehicle breakdowns, providing information about other agencies, and helping locate lost pets or property.
Actions Considered Suspicious By Police
Another way to determine if you are truly witnessing suspicious behavior is to understand what police consider suspicious. For instance, according to the Seattle Police Department the following actions are considered suspicious and would warrant a call to the police:
- Unusual noises including screaming, fighting, or breaking glass
- Vehicles driving slowly or aimlessly through neighborhoods or around schools and playgrounds
- People peering into parked vehicles that they do not own
- People who change their behavior when they realize that you or someone else sees them
- Abandoned packages or suitcases in unusual places
- People who are on private property and do not seem to be conducting legitimate business
Keep in mind that the police encourage people to report suspicious behavior because it helps them prevent crime and keep people safe.
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Reflect On What You Consider Suspicious
Stereotypes surrounding people of color are abundant in the United States and can influence even the most genuine people.
These stereotypes have infiltrated people’s thoughts through negative media portrayals, inaccurate social media posts, and even racist relatives. In fact, it’s not uncommon to buy into stereotypes and prejudices without even realizing it.
One prime example, of these inaccurate portrayals, is that of Black teenagers with their hoods up. Some people automatically assume that these young people are up to no good, but there can be many other explanations for wearing a hood up including cold weather or a sense of style.
Overall, the problem with stereotypes is that not everyone recognizes that they are being influenced. For this reason, it’s important to question the thoughts that filter into your mind and ask yourself why you are thinking along those lines. You can help combat racism when you begin with addressing and undoing your own biases.
Evaluating The Accident Scene
Police are trained individuals who know how to assess an accident scene and collect invaluable information. Therefore, immediately after any accident, severe or minor, the police can determine vital information for your case.
Police officers are responsible for collecting witness reports, performing roadside tests to see if anyone was driving under the influence, and all sorts of other important information on the parties involved.
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Making A 999 Call If You Are Unable To Talk
There may come a time when you need to call 999 but talking may put you or others in more danger.
Silent Solutions is a system whereby you can make a silent 999 call.
When you call 999 you will be connected to a BT operator. They will guide you through the process and you will be asked to 55. Doing this will inform the call taker that your call is genuine. They will keep the line open and will investigate your call further.
Watch our short video below for further explanation.
Live Calls For Service Website
On this site you will see real-time mapping of locations where police have responded to a call for service. These calls include incidents such as arrests, gun calls, collisions involving people or property, assaults, industrial accidents or disputes. Some calls for service will be, or are being, excluded for privacy reasons, including calls respecting domestic violence, sexual assault, or medical distress. Others calls may be excluded because they are part of an ongoing police operation.
Each call is represented by a dot on the map. By clicking on a dot, you will see the type of call, the date/time of the call, the Division in which it occurred and nearby streets/nearest intersection.
Each dot is visible for four hours, whether police are still on scene or not, and the site is refreshed every three minutes.
If you have information about any of the calls for service on this website, please call 416-808-2222 or 9-1-1 if there is an immediate threat to life or property.
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