Reporting a Crime
We recognize that few people have actually ever been the victim of a crime and have never had to call 911. For many people, contacting the police is due to a very upsetting and uncomfortable experience. You should never feel hesitant to contact the police. It is completely normal to wonder "is it worth calling 911 for this" and we hope to educate you on what to do when reporting a crime or requesting emergency assistance. The following will provide information to you to help you better understand the process of contacting Campus Safety to report an incident and to help you realize what you can expect to happen.
CALLING CAMPUS SAFETY
There are few ways to call Campus Safety.
773-508-SAFE (508-7233) is the number for the Dispatch Center
44-911 is an emergency number which will also put you through to the Dispatch Center. if calling from an on-campus University phone.
When you call Campus Safety a dispatcher will answer the phone and ask you if your call is an emergency. The dispatcher's job is to gather the necessary information from you pertaining to the call to then pass on to the responding units.
Depending on the nature of the call, the dispatcher may ask you the questions,
- What is your name?
- What is your location?
- What is your phone number?
- Do you require medical assistance?
- Were you the victim of a crime?
- If you were the victim of a crime is the offender still nearby?
- Can you provide a physical description of the offender?
- Do you want responding officers to visit you?
(if you have made a complaint but have not been the victim of a crime)
If the call is in regards to a medical emergency they will ask you for the following, age, sex and level of consciousness of the victim.
Try to answer these questions to the best of your ability. If you are unable to answer some of these questions tell the dispatcher and try to be as specific as possible.
911 is an amazing resource that almost all communities have in place across America. When you call 911 in Chicago, you are connected to the Office of Emergency Management and Communication (OEMC).
Once the call is placed, a civilian call taker will answer the phone. He or she will ask you if the call requires Police or the Fire Department/EMS. Sometimes you will have to say what the emergency is and they will then transfer you to the appropriate call taker.
The call taker will gather information pertaining to your emergency just like Campus Safety's dispatchers will. They will often times ask you for your name and number and if you want to be contacted by the Police. An example of this would be; there is a loud party in the building next to you and you call the police asking them to disband the party. The call taker will ask you if you want the police to come to your residence to speak to you.
Sometimes the call taker will state that your call is not an emergency, an example of this is calling 911 to report that a nearby restaurant's garbage cans are overflowing and attracting rodents. They would then transfer you to the appropriate department.
311 is a service that is used to contact City of Chicago departments that are not Police or Fire related. These include, but are not limited to; Streets and Sanitation, Park District, Department of Housing etc.
WHAT IS SUSPICIOUS?
"I don't know what those people are doing but it doesn't look right." Many times we find ourselves observing behavior of others and thinking that it just doesn’t seem right. Most of the time we just ignore it and go on with our day, maybe we don't know if it is a crime maybe we just don’t want to get involved. However, if it made you pause in the first place, you should pursue it further.
The following are some signs that could be suspicious and Campus Safety should be notified on.
- A person trying to enter a residence hall or building without the proper access card
- A person "piggy-backing" into a secured gate or door behind another person.
- A person whose head is constantly looking around as if they are making sure no one is watching them.
- A person who appears to be wandering a building for no particular reason.
- A person who keeps checking to see if doors are locked.
- A person who is standing around a bicycle rack looking at bikes parked there.
- A person wandering a parking lot or garage.
- A stranger carrying property or unusual items at an abnormal hour or location. This includes computers, bicycles, bolt cutters, a baseball bat etc.
- A person exhibiting unusual behavior that makes them appear to be mentally impaired or distraught.
All of the above items are things that could appear suspicious but could also have legitimate, non-criminal intentions. They should all however be reported to Campus Police.
Whenever in doubt, always call Campus Safety and they will determine if the behavior is suspicious or legitimate. It is our job to investigate and determine what is going on. You should avoid initiating contact with someone who you feel is acting suspiciously. Call 773.508.SAFE or 44-911 from any on campus phone to immediately report suspicious behavior.
Anonymous crime reporting is NOT for emergency situations. If you want to report an emergency, call 773.508.SAFE or 44-911 from any on campus phone to immediately report suspicious behavior.
Anonymous reporting should be used to report an on-going concern that you are afraid of being identified as the complainant. You must state from the beginning that you want to anonymously report a complaint.
The following are examples of issues that could utilize anonymous reporting;
- Use of drugs or drug sales in a regular location or by a regular person
- Repeated theft of items or money
- Hate speech or actions
- Fraud (this can include manufacturing or using a fake ID)
- Threat of violence
- Sex crimes
- Sale of alcohol or distribution of alcohol to minors
If you are not sure if something is worth reporting, still report it, we will investigate and if it is not necessarily criminal, we will pass it along to the appropriate department.
For information on reporting students exhibiting suicidal, self-injurious and other behaviors which might pose a threat to students and/or others in the University community, contact the Behavioral Concerns Team at www.luc.edu/bct.