Glendale Police Department Dispatchers receive phone calls every day from locals in emergency situations.
Dispatcher Gregory Corrigan spoke to Glendale Police's North Area Command Neighborhood Watch meeting in April about what it's like behind the scenes.
Corrigan described the best ways to report suspicious activity and how to identify an emergency situation.
"Don't investigate suspicious activity," Corrigan said.
He suggested that locals who witness something out of the ordinary, possibly a crime, call Glendale Police Department's non-emergency line at (818) 548-4911.
"Don’t try to stop or apprehend a person committing a crime."
If you think there's a crime, including a crime in progress, then call 911, Corrigan said.
How to identify suspicious activity:
- Someone going door to door.
- Someone loitering in front of house.
- Someone forcing entry into house or apartment.
- Someone leaving a location, running away with property.
How to report a suspicious activity:
- Get a description of the suspect.
- Call the police immediately.
- Describe the age, sex, race, height, weight, hair color, length of facial hair, hat, shirt/blouse or other clothing identifiers.
- Describe any possible vehicles with license number, make, model, color or age.
- Let dispatcher know any special designs, features of a vehicle (convertible, special wheels, rims, body damage, decals) and direction of travel.
Why descriptions, details matter for dispatchers:
"When you call 911 it’s not a robot on the other side it’s a human...," Corrigan said.
He suggested that people slow down in an emergency situation, and remain as calm as possible.
"We can only type so fast and if you talk too fast we’re going to ask you to repeat things and that just delays everything," Corrigan said.
Glendale Police dispatchers are available to speak in Korean and Spanish. An Armenian dispatcher was available, however, he went on to become a police officer, Corrigan said.
There is a language interpreting program available for any language, Corrigan said.
To learn more about crime prevention and the North Command Neighborhood Watch Program, contact Glendale Police Officer Matt Zakarian at email@example.com.