That’s a great question and there are number of things you have to keep in mind when you see something suspicious or unusual going on around your home or in your neighborhood.
First of all, your primary concern should be to ensure your own safety and that of your family. Too often, citizens forego calling the police to satisfy their own curiosity. They enter into a mental state of “it-won’t-happen-to-me” and expose themselves needlessly to danger or potential danger.
If you suspect something unusual or suspicious is occurring, contact law enforcement immediately. If the activity exposes you to danger, I encourage you to contact 9-1-1. If not, you may contact local law enforcement via their main dispatch telephone number.
Identify yourself to the call-taker and request a police response. Relate to the call-taker as many specific details as you can regarding the suspicious activity, details like the number of people involved, their physical description, a description of the clothes they are wearing, whether they are in a vehicle or on foot, what it was they are doing that drew your attention and their last known direction of travel if they’ve already left the scene. Providing these answers will arm the deputies with information that will prove invaluable to them during their response.
While citizens are often the eyes and ears of a community, remember that peace officers are trained specifically to deal with these very types of incidents. Situations can escalate unexpectedly, so keep yourself safe and call in the cavalry.