To Call or Not to Call

A recent Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office report highlights an interesting
question about reporting crimes:

When should we call 911?

A Kingston man recently reported to sheriff’s deputies that while he was
napping, a UPS truck came to his house and attempted to drop off a package.
After the delivery person received no answer at the door (alas, they were
napping), he left. But a mysterious car reportedly followed the truck. One
female passenger went to the door and grabbed the package while another male
passenger went into the house’s tool shed. He wasn’t reported to have taken

The house’s owner eventually called the sheriff’s office — but didn’t call
911 right away. When a deputy followed up and asked the man why he didn’t,
he said, “We should have called 911?”

“I advised him in the future when a crime is being witnessed not to hesitate
and call 911,” the deputy told the man in the report.

Bigger, metropolitan areas often have varying services for reporting crimes.
Here in Kitsap, however, we’re mostly limited to one channel — 911, a call
which goes to Central Communications office (or CenCom for short).

Scott Wilson, Kitsap Sheriff’s Deputies Spokesman, says any crime in progress should be called into 911 immediately. He adds that anytime a resident would like to have a member of law enforcement respond, they should also call 911.

Smaller crimes such as minor property thefts can be phoned into 911, but Wilson adds that they can also be called into Kitsap County Sheriff’s Offices in Port Orchard, Silverdale and Kingston during normal business hours.

I’ve noticed some residents (like the aforementioned example) wait to call
911 only as a seeming last resort. Others will phone into CenCom a “report
of a recklessly driven vehicle,” in a moment’s notice.

What is your level of sensitivity with regard to phoning 911?

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