Dispatchers will ask many questions but some of the most important relate to descriptions. Dispatchers cannot see or hear what you, the caller, can. The dispatcher needs the caller to "paint a picture" with words; a picture that can be relayed to the responding public safety personnel.

There are certain questions that a dispatcher will ask regarding person descriptions. These descriptions are then passed on to the responding officers so that they can identify the persons responsible for the crime.

The pictures on the right point out the method for describing a person and the manner in which the dispatcher will ask you to describe the person.

Other questions a dispatcher will ask are:

  • Name

  • Sex
  • Race
  • Age
  • Height/Weight
  • Scars
  • Tattoos
  • Glasses
  • Facial Hair
  • Clothing

Remember: Dispatchers will typically ask for clothing descriptions from head to toe and from the outside-in.

White male adult, late 50's, 6'/180 lbs, long gray hair, wire-rim glasses, mustache, blue baseball cap, glasses, brown jacket, white t-shirt, blue jeans, white tennis shoes.


Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1
495 Upper Park Rd.
Santa Cruz, CA 95065
(831) 471-1000
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