Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What happens when I report criminal activity on the “Crime Tips” Hotline?

Crime Tips are logged and assigned to an officer. Based upon the information received, the officer will then determine a course of action for resolving the complaint. The officer must first develop some information that corroborates the nature of the complaint. In some cases, this may require a brief surveillance of the residence or contacting the individual who lodged the complaint. 

Numerous complaints are received each week and officers commonly have several complaints assigned to them at any one time. This requires each complaint to be prioritized based on the nature of the complaint. Additionally, the complaint may require weeks or months of investigation before results are seen. If you don’t see progress, consider reporting further occurrences or providing your contact information to help us further investigate the problem.

What information should I provide when I report criminal activity in my neighborhood?

Location of occurrence: 
The address where the activity is occurring is ideal, but if you cannot determine the actual physical address, then try to describe the residence completely. Be sure to include the color of the residence, a single story or multi-story house, has a picket fence, or any other unusual landmarks that will make the location in question stand out or distinguishable. 

Nature of activity: 
Describe what is happening or the nature of the activity. Many times we receive complaints from anonymous persons who state: "The people at 123 Main Street are dealing drugs". Complaints such as these are very difficult to corroborate and often go unresolved. Report specific observations or activity that suggests someone is selling drugs, is involved in gang activity, or other crimes from the residence. Many times these activities include: 

  • Unusual amount of people coming and going from the residence, many times at odd hours of the day or night. 
  • People waiting in vehicles outside the residence. 
  • People parking around the corner or down the street and approaching the residence on foot. 
  • People who visit the residence often and only stay for 15 minutes or less. 
  • Any activity you deem unusual such as digging in the yard, repeated trips to a storage shed, or strange privacy modifications to the residence. 
  • Frequent visitors to the residence and their vehicles. If possible, obtain license plate numbers of these visitors. 

Providing Descriptions:

When providing information for us to follow up on, please describe the following things-

  • All the people living at the residence completely. This information should include sex, race, age, height, weight, hair color and style, eye color, facial hair, and distinguishing marks or tattoos of each occupant, and of course, their name if you know it.
  • Vehicles at the residence and if known, identify who drives them. Try to get the color, year, make/model of the vehicle and the license plate. 

Do not jeopardize your safety or alert the occupants to your activities to obtain this information!

If you think of anything else that might be helpful to the investigation, no matter how insignificant it may seem, be sure and report it. One of the largest cocaine busts in California was the result of a person who thought it was suspicious that truck drivers at a local warehouse were having difficulty backing them into the garage. 

And last, but not least, please provide your name and a means of contacting you. Although this information is not required, this allows the officer to contact you if he or she needs further information to further their investigation. Officers understand your need for anonymity and will hold your identity in the strictest confidence.

Residents are the experts in knowing what is normal for their neighborhoods.  YOU are crucial to helping us prevent and solve crime in your neighborhood- please call us when you notice suspicious activity at 584-2600, or reach us through Crime Tips. Thank You!

Email: [email protected]   or 707-584-COPS (2677)