Anchorage Police discuss right way to report a crime
Anchorage Police dispatchers say they've seen an uptick in people reporting crimes over the last few years.
Dispatch manager Amy Foraker said they are averaging between 1,200 and 1,300 calls a day. Foraker said about half of those calls come in on the 911 line, but not all of them need to be reported as emergencies.
According to Foraker, the line should be reserved for incidents that require immediate police, fire or EMS response-- usually when someone is in danger or injured.
"A car accident where people are injured, a shooting, a stabbing, a robbery that just occurred. Those are the kind of things we want people to use 911 for," said Foraker.
Foraker said other types of crimes should be called in on the non-emergency line, (907) 786-8900. She gave the example of someone who wakes up and discovers their car is no longer in their driveway.
"If you have no idea how long it's been gone, we would prefer you call the non-emergency line," said Foraker.
Foraker said people who report crimes by calling 911, which police deem not to be emergencies, will be redirected to the non-emergency line where they will be answered in order.
"If you have a fairly minor thing and we are really busy, we won't tell you that we won't send an officer," said Foraker. "But, we may warn you that it could be a while."
Another way to report a crime is online. APD records clerk Pamela Miller said the online system works well for certain purposes.
"Things that don't require an immediate response. Things that [people] may want to report for their insurance company purposes," said Miller.
Online reporting is accessed through the Municipal website, muni.org. People who go to the APD page will find a list of crimes which can be reported online. Miller said the site makes it easy to update reports or add photos, plus, you get a temporary case number right away.
"For those who just have to get it to their insurance companies, this is the way to go," Foraker said. "Because you are going to get a copy in your hands two seconds after you finish the report."
Miller said police try to process the online reports within 72 hours, but, like everything else, she also said they'll get to it as soon as they can.