How to Report a Crime
When reporting an incident to a Public Safety agency, think of these 5 “W”s to help provide key details to the Call-Taker:
Remember: Never place yourself in harm’s way to gather this information!
What: Synopsis of what is happening or the type of service needed.
- There’s a woman causing a disturbance.
- There’s a suspicious man in front of the building.
- We need an ambulance for someone who passed out!
Where: Location of Service – Be as specific as possible; it can be an exact address, intersection, block, as well as identifiable areas at the location.
- 1801 W. Taylor St.
- Taylor / Wolcott,
- 1800 block W. Taylor
- On the 2nd floor in apt/office/room 201
- Add’l descriptors: tower or wing, loading dock, alley, etc.
Who: Descriptions of “Offender(s)”/Direction of flight – Give as many details as possible that will help police identify the right person(s)
- Caucasian man, about 5’9 and 180 pounds, with black hair, sunglasses, and a full beard. He has on a blue baseball cap, tan jacket, white button-up shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.
When: Advise if the incident is currently happening or has already passed
- There’s a car on fire right now!
- Someone just stole my car!
- My office was burglarized overnight!
Weapons: Weapons involved – any object that can do bodily harm or damage property
- baseball bat
- golf club
Additional Details: Known physical or psychological issues involved – This information will assist in getting the appropriate resources to the scene.
There are a variety of ways to report a crime:
- in-person at the UIC Police Department, 943 W Maxwell St, Chicago, IL 60608, Second (2nd) Floor
- Emergency Call: (312) 355-5555 (24hrs)
- Non-Emergency Call: (312) 996-2830 (24hrs)
- Call 911