Letter to the editor: You CAN call 911


By Kimberly Clarke Armatis

How many of us have hesitated to notify the police when we see something or someone suspicious? We all say we are going to call, but many of us hesitate when the time comes.

Will the police expect me to stop everything and fill out a report?

Will the police give my name out as the one who alerted them?

Will the police consider it silly that I have called?

The answer is NO to all of these questions. The police cannot just pull over and question someone. But if a concerned citizen calls in, they can then act.  The operator may ask for your name and phone number.  It is ok to give them that information, and it actually will help the police who are answering the call.  It is not going on the report nor will the suspicious person(s) ever know who made the call. You do not have to fill out a report or meet the police anywhere. You can continue on to the grocery or carpool or business meeting or wherever you need to go.

If you feel something is not right, it usually isn’t. And the police believe this as well. They need the community’s helpful watch.

Let the criminals know that people are watching and will call the police. Maybe they will think twice about returning.

Keep New Orleans safe. It is a special place!

The writer, Kimberly Clarke Armatis, is an Uptown resident.

6 thoughts on “Letter to the editor: You CAN call 911

  1. 911 is a joke in this city. I’ve had to call them three times when I witnessed crimes–a hit and run (a pedestrian was struck), a “gentleman” attempting to run a woman and her infant child off the road while alleging that she was “ho-ing around on him” and another occasion where I witnessed a shootout. The 911 operators were rude, ignorant and could barely speak standard English. They asked me absolutely ludicrous questions (can you go back and check and see if any of the shooting victims are dead..or more like “you kin go back an see anyum be daid?”). I have had better luck with the non-emergency police, who have always dispatched a vehicle no matter what I needed to call for. NOLA’s 911 system, however, needs a serious enema.

  2. If something seems out of place, it just might be. When you call 911, the operator may ask a few questions including, what the person is wearing, where they were last seen, which direction they were headed, approximate age, height, weight, etc…. They will probably ask what the person is doing that looks suspicious. Just please report it and have patience with the 911 operator who needs to take in the information and provide to police.

  3. Much needed advice. The operator will also ask for your name & phone number but u don’t have to give that if u don’t want to. NOPD never calls anyway. I call everytime I see someone shady walking around.

  4. While attending a NONPAC meeting a few months ago I inquired about 911 calls and confidentially. We were told that like any public record, anyone can access the information. By now the details are fuzzy, but basically a curious person can find out who called 911. If you are nervous about the subject, then call the non-emergency #, as that does not get recorded. Or just go for it…depends on the nature of the call perhaps.

  5. Yeah, so if you report someone who has “Friends” in the
    PD, your azz is toast. They need to STOP recording peoples’
    phone numbers when they take calls if they’re going to say
    you’re able to call “anonymously”. Hard to want to “do the right
    thing” when they turn around and put you in harm’s way.

  6. You ever borrow a phone at a store to call 911? They get really pissed when you dont know what number you are calling from and if you get tired of their inane questions describing every last feature of the suspect and just hang up and walk away they will call back and get the store manager to hunt you down and ask you again what phone number you are calling from and what color the guy’s shoelaces were. At which time you may have to tell them that they already know who you are and so if they really need all this information they should send a trooper out to arrest you, or screw off.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *