The great metropolis of the City of Seattle is now at a size that if all potential crimes were reported via 911, the call center would probably be overloaded and summarily shutdown. Or at least that is what one is lead to believe vis a vis the Seattle Police Department (the “SPD”). Why else would the SPD find it necessary to define for citizens what an emergency is and instruct them to report certain crimes on-line.
Interestingly, instead of acknowledging that the system may get overloaded, and that SPD might not be able to handle the call volume in the field, SPD claim’s the basis for on-line reporting is because ‘[s]ome crimes and incidents may require evidence collection or other investigative procedures requiring an officer’s involvement. Also, only crimes that have no suspects, are not in progress and do not involve injury can be reported this way. This is for the safety of everyone.’ Are you buying it? Sounds more like an excuse than a reason, right?
At any rate, in light of the foregoing, it is probably wise to understand what crimes actually should be reported via on-line reporting, and what crimes are deemed ‘emergencies’, and thus 911 reportable? To that end be aware that SPD instructs folks to “[p]lease use the on-line reporting service for the following: Destruction of Property; Identity Theft; Theft up to $500; Car Prowl up to $1500; Theft of Automobile Accessories up $1500; Drug dealing and other illegal narcotics activity.” The SPD instructs folks that on-line reporting is intended for ‘non-emergency incidents’ in which the suspect is not known; 911 calls are to be made only: (1) if they or someone else personally witnessed who committed the alleged crime, or (2) if any person, animal, or property is in immediate danger. Otherwise, citizens are told to file the complaint on-line (and of course without saying it, hope that SPD responds within the next decade or so). So there you have it, on-line vs. 911 reporting in the metropolis of the City of Seattle.
If you happen to be on the other end of the spectrum – the one being investigated or charged for a crime in Washington State – it would be smart to immediately contact a Seattle criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and interests. The Seattle criminal defense attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal defense lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the criminal allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether cited for a driving offense, theft, prostitution, possession and/or distribution of drugs, assault, property destruction or some other law violation, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys immediately.