When Calling the Police

Things you should know when reporting a crime to Tampa Police Department.

Maryanne Hunsberger, crime prevention practitioner at Tampa Police Department District I, shares the guidelines to keep in mind when reporting to the police.

Information the dispatcher will need from you:

  • The problem
  • The location
  • Time of occurrence
  • Your name
  • Your phone number
  • Your address
  • Additional details of situation

How to describe a vehicle:

  • Type
  • Make and model
  • Year
  • Color
  • License tag number, state
  • Location and direction of travel
  • Distinguished features
  • Description of occupants and how many

How to describe a person:

1. Start from the top - What is the person wearing?

  • Hat
  • Glasses
  • Facial features
  • Coat
  • Shirt
  • Pants
  • Socks
  • Shoes

2. Physical Characteristics

  • Age
  • Race
  • Skin tone
  • Height and weight
  • Hair color, length and style
  • Weapon

3. Location

4. Direction of travel

5. Distinguish features

Numbers to call:

  • Police non-emergency: 813-231-6130
  • Fire rescue and police emergency: 911


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