What Happens When I Call the Police?

When you dial "911" the police dispatcher will answer the phone, "911 emergency, what is the problem?" The dispatcher will then get vital information about the call and will advise the Seville officer on duty of the situation.

Contracting Departments
The Seville Police Department contracts with the Medina County Sheriff's Office for dispatching services during the time that our own dispatcher is not at work. This means that the person that you are talking to might not be familiar with the area or with the names of your neighbors across the street. These dispatchers are trained to get certain information from each caller: your name and address and your phone number. This information is vital in the event that the connection is lost (with GTE?) or if the officer needs more detailed information about the situation.

The dispatcher will probably ask you to remain on the line, so that you can continue to advise them of the situation. For instance, you might be able to tell the dispatcher that the person you were calling about just ducked behind a bush as the police car drove by, or that they ran to a car. Remember that you are the eyes and the ears on the scene until the police arrive.

Reporting Crime Concerns
One common concern is that the criminal will learn who called about them. There are 3 things to remember:
  • This information is never given out.
  • This information is never given out.
  • This information is never given out.
The police officers on the scene will never tell a criminal who called about them or even how it is that the police learned about the crime. After all, the police don't want to make the criminal any smarter! The police officer himself usually won't know who called until after the call. That information just isn't important to him at the time. What is important is that somebody is witnessing something unusual for their neighborhood and has taken the time to call about it. Police, like a reporter on a hot scoop, fight to protect their sources!

When calling the police about a suspicious person or event, you do not have to give your name. But a word of caution, the actions taken by the officer responding to your call could be influenced by that fact.

For example, if you witness 2 people across the street from you, 1 standing on the sidewalk and 1 going through your neighbor's car and call the police and tell them about the event and do not give your name, and the police respond and find both persons standing on the sidewalk, it is quite possible that neither person will be arrested even though a crime has been committed! This is because the officer did not see the person going through the car and without a witness who can be identified and who could testify that the person in the red shirt was going through the cars, no arrest can be made. Being resistant to crime often involves civic duty as well, the willingness to become involved and to make a stand. This is true even when it means possibly testifying to the facts in court. That's simply how the system works.