How to report a Crime

Dispatcher ConsoleWhen calling the Ripon Police Department to report a crime, it is important that you speak loudly and clearly, so that the dispatcher can quickly gather the information necessary to process your call.

Stay Safe
Give a description

Be sure you are in a safe place when reporting a crime.

You’ve probably heard them before, but you should be prepared to answer four questions with as much detail as you can provide.  The dispatcher will relay this information to the officer to keep them updated as they respond.

Where –
1. Where is/was the crime taking place?

What –
1. What happened? (Describe the type of crime which is/was occurring)
2. Are there any injuries? (if you do not know, tell the dispatcher “I do not Know”)

When –
1. Did this crime just occur; was it some other time during the night/day?
2. Time-frame of when it could have happened. (Time-frame can determine type of response)A crime which has just occurred holds a greater possibility of catching the responsible person than a crime that occurred 10 hours or days ago.

Who –
1. Who was involved? Does this involve family members? Does it involve neighborhood kids? Etc.
2. Are they still at the scene? If not, what was their last direction of travel, did they leave on foot or in a vehicle?

If they are no longer at the scene, tell the dispatcher landmarks if you are not aware of the direction.  (he just left from my home 241 Van Dyken Way on foot and he is headed towards Quik Stop.)  This information will assist the officer in finding the responsible person.  The officer will always try to catch the responsible person if the crime has just occurred, before making contact with the Reporting Party (you) or the Victim.
Description
Description of the responsible person.  (race, hair color, eye color, clothing description).   Give as much of this information as you possibly can. The more accurate the physical description of the responsible person, the better chance of catching him/her.

Description of vehicle involved:

As a memory tool you can use :
C-Y-M-B-O-L:
C= COLOR
Y= YEAR
M= MAKE
B= BODY
S= STYLE
O= OTHER
L= LICENSE

Another helpful hint when trying to remember a license plate number, associate the letters and numbers to something familiar, making them easier to remember. Example: ABC123, APPLE, BOY, CAT, I HAVE 1 BIKE, 2 CARS, 3 KIDS.  Practice this technique with random vehicles on the street.  Try to become familiar with the general license plate types for cars and trucks. Generally, cars will have one number, three letters, and three numbers (ex: 1ABC234) Trucks will have one number, one letter and five numbers (ex: 1A23456) or five numbers, one letter, and another number (ex: 65432A1).

The dispatcher will attempt to gather the reporting party’s information: (last name, first name, address and phone number) however, the reporting party/person may choose to remain anonymous.

REMAIN IN A SAFE PLACE WHEN REPORTING A CRIME
The calmer you remain during the call, the faster the dispatcher can gather all necessary information to get a police officer on their way.

IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY PLEASE CALL: 9-1-1
If you do not feel comfortable calling 9-1-1 then you can dial our 7-digit emergency line (209)599-5022. For all other calls, please feel free to call our regular business line (209) 599-2102.

Any questions regarding 9-1-1 or reporting a crime please feel free to e-mail Celeste Wilson, Lead Dispatcher.

  • Ripon Police Department

    259 N. Wilma Avenue
    Ripon, CA 95366

    9-1-1 Emergency
    (209) 599-5022 7-Digit Emergency
    (209) 599-2102 24/7 Non-Emergency
    599-RTIP - 24/7 Anonymous Tip Line
    (209) 599-4034 Fax