Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does the dispatcher ask for my name when I call?
A. Citizens who call our Dispatch Center to report a crime, are asked a series of questions, so that the Dispatcher can provide the responding officers with as much information as possible about the call they are responding to. One of the first questions is the caller’s name. Citizens should know that no caller is required to give their name and not giving your name will not change the type of response you receive to their call. Citizens should realize however, that by not providing your name, if the officer(s) have to decide to take law enforcement action, such as an arrest, information provided by anonymous callers is not regarded as “inherently reliable.” This means that the officers must verify and corroborate all of the information, before taking action. In some cases, this may have an impact on the case.
Q. Why do I have to answer so many questions when I call?
A. Citizens who call our Dispatch Center to report a crime, are asked a series of questions, so that the Dispatcher can provide the responding officers with as much information as possible about the call they are responding to. Sometimes citizens become frustrated, thinking that the Dispatcher is taking too long to send assistance by asking more questions. Most of the time, while the first Dispatcher continues to ask questions, one of the other Dispatchers is already contacting Police and Fire units, to send them on the call. Information gathered by the Dispatchers is important in deciding how many units to send, what equipment should be sent and how quickly officers should respond. Also, some of this information is useful later in preparing a case, because the answers are recorded.
Q. My neighbor has a scanner. How can I prevent my name from being transmitted over the radio?
A. Many citizens, worried about revenge, are reluctant to call the police because they don’t want their name transmitted over the radio. If you provide your name and address, and if the officers on the scene have additional questions, they may ask for that information so they can speak with you. If you don’t want your name given out on the radio, tell the dispatcher. They can provide the necessary information to the responding officer over the computer or telephone.
Q. I want to upgrade my license to carry. What do I do?
A. As of June 2009, we are receiving many requests to upgrade existing LTCs from a restricted status to “unrestricted.” Due to the volume of these requests, we are unable to process all of them in person. For your convenience and to minimize the impact on our operations, please fill out a new application and either drop it off, or mail it to our Firearms Licensing Administrator, Sue Wheeler. Once we receive it, we will re-run your criminal history and re-submit the request. If there are no issues, you should receive your new license in several weeks.