The following things I have learned at work the past few weeks, and I have found them to be so important that I feel I should pass them on so you too can learn from them.
#1 When you call in a report to the police, it doesn't matter whether you talk calmly or scream...the response is going to be the same. So save us all the trouble (and save our eardrums) and just don't yell!
#2 Just because you live next door to one of our police officers doesn't mean that you locking your keys in your car is going to be more important than a traffic accident or a medical emergency or anything else. I understand the officer is your friend and neighbor, but he (or she) doesn't dictate what is an emergency. You can't have special treatment just because a police officer moved in next door to you. I'm sorry.
#3 Don't crash your personal car into a police car. It only makes the officer angry and our goal is to keep the officers happy! (I did not crash my car into an officer, don't worry.)
#4 If you're going to be a bad guy (or girl) and want to remain 'sleuth', don't post your whole life on facebook. You make it ridiculously easy for people to track you down!
#5 If you call something into the police department and we tell you that we'll send an officer, WE WILL SEND AN OFFICER! Don't call back 3 times wondering where we are. We're coming as fast as possible. Just because your call seems like an emergency to you (and it may be important) doesn't mean that there isn't something more important in the city requiring the officers first. Please be patient. It's a virtue, you know?!?
#6 If you want dispatchers to like you, be nice to us when you call in. I'm not calling you...you are calling me asking for help. I'm doing the best I can to help you with your request. Just show a little respect. I know you're scared/frustrated/worried/excited etc...but still be nice!
#7 When I say "What's the address of your emergency?" THAT'S ALL I WANT TO KNOW RIGHT THEN!! I know you have a whole story you want to tell me, and I'll get there eventually, but one thing at a time!
#8 When I ask you questions, I assure you that it's not to bug you. Everything I ask is needed for a reason. Please just answer the questions. The quicker you answer my questions, the quicker you get an officer.
#9 If an officer is trying to do a traffic stop on you or handcuff you or do anything else 'police related'...PLEASE don't call dispatch asking to talk to the one officer in our department you think you are friends with. Just do what the officer on scene is asking you to do, and worry about the rest later. It's just going to make the officers angry if you ignore them and call me, and trust me, there is a good chance I don't want to talk to you in that situation! :D
#10 Even though sometimes police officers have a bad repuation, most of them do in fact know what they are talking about. Don't call dispatch to ask us if the things the officer told you is true. All that's going to get you is another conversation with the exact same officer, and I can almost guarantee that by that point he won't be as pleasant as he first was. Trust me! (And trust them!!)