The Port Arthur Police Department handles thousands of calls for service per year. The majority of these calls originate from reports made to the department by telephone. If you report an incident to the department, doing so in an effective manner can generate a more prompt and proper response.
When a Telecommunications Operator (TCO) answers the call, the TCO will gather and compile the information you provide into a Computer Aided Dispatch System (CAD) and the call will be dispatched in a timely manner. The department answers all calls for service; however, calls are dispatched in terms of priority depending on the nature of the call and the availability of officers to respond to calls received.
The most important information you can provide is the nature of your call and the location where the department’s assistance is needed. Information such as suspect, vehicle descriptions, elapsed time, and other necessary information regarding any threats present at the scene (e.g. weapons) is important to ensure the safety of all parties involved, especially that of the responding officers. The TCO is a trained professional and it is imperative that you cooperate by answering the TCO’s questions and following any instructions you are given.
When calling 911 it is important to provide the location where assistance is needed. Although the TCO has a screen that displays the address and phone number, it is important to provide this information to ensure that the screen is displaying the proper location, especially if you’re calling on a cellular phone or if you’re requesting assistance at a location other than the one you’re calling from.
911 may be used to report in-progress emergencies or those that have just occurred. If you’re reporting a minor incident, or an incident where a significant amount of time has elapsed since its occurrence, then you should report it using the non-emergency police phone number at 983-8600.
You should not call 911 to report any incident unless it constitutes an emergency. You should not make false reports or prank calls on 911 because it is for emergency use only, and that misuse or abuse of 911 may in fact be preventing an actual emergency call from reaching the department. Misuse or abuse of 911 or allowing a phone under your control to be used for these purposes can result in criminal charges against you.
You are welcome to contact the department with any questions or concerns you have. You may also request services of the department, such as checking your home while you’re on vacation. If you’re requesting a service that the department is unable to provide, personnel can refer you to the appropriate agency or course of action. Above all, remember that the Port Arthur Police Department is here to serve you. Together we can make Port Arthur a safer community for everyone.