Upham's Corner Online

Getting Help - The Boston Police Make Recommendations

Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010
Nancy J Conrad

Getting Help from the Boston Police Department

How do we take personal responsibility for our actions and what we see happening? 

How can we work effectively with the Police Department? 

A call to Police Officer Edward Chrispin was met with enthusiasm and a clear indication that he wanted to be of help.  Here's what we talked about.
  • Police Department 911 priorities
  • Emergencies - What to do and how to get help
  • Cell phones and 911
  • Persistent problems - how to handle them
  • Trusting your instincts

Police Department 911 Priorities

When you call 911, the ability of the police department to respond to your emergency depends on the number of high-priority outstanding calls.  Violence in progress is the highest priority and will always be attended to above anything else.

Police Department priorities do not change one day to the next.  However, the number of level I priorities does change depending on the day of the week.  Thursday through Saturday are very busy times especially with domestic violence.  The Police Department asks you to keep this in mind when you do call. 

Getting Help for Emergencies

Think S A F E T Y

If you have to walk at night alone, think safety.  Stay alert and walk only on well lit streets.  Even then, choose the side of the street that has the greater amount of light.  

Look around as you're walking.  Make sure you have accessible the whistle you are carrying with you.  Be ready to make a loud sound if it's necessary.  Be ready to scream.

If someone is following you, cross the street.  If they continue to follow you, walk to the middle of the street and stop the first car.  Ask for help.  If they have a cell phone, ask them to please call the police.

911 and Cell Phones

If you are carrying a cell phone, DO NOT DIAL 911.

Officer Crispin emphasized this several times.  From a cell phone 911 always goes to the state police Tower.  They then have to rout it back to where you are located.  Instead program a speed dial number into your phone that will get you to the Boston area 911.

    617-343-4911

Trusting your instincts

Some of us are more adventurous and braver than others.  Or you could say some of us are not so street savvy, so we take risks we shouldn't.

If you run into a problematic situation:
  • How are you feeling? 
  • Are you afraid? 
  • Are you using your head to guide your response?
  • Are you using your emotions?
Examples of Real Events:  How whould you handle them? 
  1. Your neighbor across the street is out on the sidewalk strangling his wife

    Call 911

  2. Two kids are outside beating each other up (you know them)

    1. What is your relationship with the kids? 
    2. Do they trust you? 
    3. Are you willing to call out to them?

    Call 911.
  3. It's night time.  You look up and from a distance see a sniper on a rooftop with a gun.  

    Call 911.

    Got the idea ? Dial 911
Officer Chrispin emphasized knowing yourself.  
  • Do you have basic assessment skills?  
  • Can you make a contribution to the situation?  
  • Can you keep your cool?
Whatever you do, the moment you begin to feel uncomfortable, back off.  

How to handle persistent problems

Contact your Community Services Officer

Persistent problems often fall into the category of "bad" neighbors and quality of life issues.  Documenting the problem by calling 911 is important as this leaves a problem history in the Police Department's database.

At the same time the Police Department encourages you to contact your community services officer.  In the Upham's Corner area we are covered by District B-2 and
District C-11.  

Do not be discouraged if the officer does not answer.  They are often out and about handling exactly these types of problems.  Be sure to leave a message so the officer can get back to you.

Contact Media Relations

Another approach that Officer Chrispin recommended is to e-mail media relations at the Boston Police Department.  

Yes, that's right - Media Relations.

Describe the problem, ask for help and media relations will pass the information on to the appropriate officer.  Obviously, do not send them an emergency call.

Email address:  mediarelations.bpd@cityofboston.gov

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