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Police dispatchers don't 'run' callers

Why when I call the Medford police about a crime in progress do they run my name to investigate the caller first and not investigate the crime scene? It has made me not trust the police to solve a crime.

— Robert T., Medford

Robert, first off, when you call 911 or the nonemergency number to report an incident, your call is routed to the Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon center, which dispatches law enforcement, fire and medical for 29 agencies in Jackson County and Crater Lake National Park.

The dispatcher does not “run your name” but will ask you a series of questions to determine the jurisdiction and which agency needs to respond, explained ECSO Director Margie Moulin.

The basic questions are what is happening, where are you, what’s your name and what’s your phone number. The latter two questions are important in case the call gets cut off or the responding emergency personnel need to contact you to get more information, Moulin said.

The information dispatchers collect depends on the urgency and type of incident, and all information is passed to responding units.

“We leave the investigation to the officers,” she added. “We just collect the information and pass it along.

Police want to have as much information as possible before arriving on the scene, said Medford police Lt. Kerry Curtis.

“Obtaining this information does not slow our response time, but it does make going into an unknown environment much more safe,” he said.

Robert, by providing your personal information to dispatchers, you are contributing to, not hindering, the investigation.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.