How to be prepared when you need to call police

KYW Newsradio's Ask a First Responder
By , KYW Newsradio

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — When people call 911 for police, it's often at the worst moments of their lives. However, there are steps everyone can take to help the officers help them more effectively, both before police get there and after they arrive.

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According to Fred Harran, director of public safety for Bensalem Township, the most important thing that people need to do when they call is to remain calm.

"Get control. Getting proper information will save sometimes minutes and it could save lives," he said.

"The other thing is, especially when officers are responding to your house in a situation, make sure the door is unlocked so we can get in. Secure any animals that you have. That is always a problem. The friendliest dog, when a police officer comes into the house, might not always be the friendliest dog."

Other important information to disclose is whether there are guns in the house, as well as how many people are inside and where they are.

"Prior medical, medicine, a lot of times, we get there before EMS and we can start collecting that data for the paramedics so we can give it to them," he said.

"Depending on the crisis, there is a whole host of information that you may not think is that big of a deal because you are dealing with it every day, like the dog."

Harran added it's also crucial to let the officers know if anyone in the home has tested positive for COVID-19. While it won't change their response, it will give them time to don PPE to protect their families before coming in.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Courtesy of Fred Harran