City of Alton Police Dept.

There are many misconceptions when it comes to calling your local police department in order to file a report. Whether it is a complaint about a noisy neighbor to a crime in progress there are many similarities as well as differences to how they are all handled. Here are a few steps to help ease some of that confusion.

When law enforcement is needed there are two different manners in which to contact that agency by telephone.

911 (Emergency)
Only to be used in the event that there may be a reason to believe someone�s life is in danger or someone’s property is in the process of being stolen or damaged.
432-0700 (Non-Emergency)
To be used for everyday type of complaints ranging from complaints about neighbors to loose dogs to any other non life threatening incident.

Information that should be provided to the agency should be:

  • Address
  • Name of caller
  • Phone number from where they are calling
  • Description of what is happening
  • Description of any persons at the location involved in the incident
  • Description of any vehicles involved

Once the law enforcement officer arrives at the scene inform him/her of the incident. At this time the officer will make any arrests if necessary and if there is an opportunity to make that arrest. The officer will then make a full report and submit that report to the investigators.

It is important to note that the more information provided, the faster a case can be resolved. A lack of evidence or leads may slow down any investigation.

The dire need for law enforcement in general leaves agencies overwhelmed with criminal cases, so patience is important. Remember that even though a case may take a long time, your local law enforcement agency is always on the job.