Terms Relating to Service Delivery to the Public
So it can be seen that not all police contacts with the public are calls for service, and not all calls for service are crimes, by the definitions provided above. Also, the changeable nature of the classification of crimes and calls for service should be noted. Counts taken at one time may not match counts taken at another time because of reviews not yet completed or because additional facts come to light causing a reconsideration of the correct classification.
Tucson Police Department - D. S. Ijams - July 2004
- Contacts: Many types of in-person or telephone contacts between police and citizens are possible:
- Examples: Questions from citizens to police officers in the field, public assists such as pushing a stalled vehicle out of traffic, telephone requests for police information, reports of crime or disturbance with few details, calls by detectives to witnesses or victims, reports of missing people, calls by business people to fraud detectives to report bad checks, simple traffic stops and reports of found property.
- Calls for Service: Some contacts with the public fit the following definition and are termed calls for service:
- "A call for service is an event occurring in or near the City of Tucson to which a Tucson Police employee must respond to evaluate or take action, or an event that comes to the attention of police or is initiated by police that requires formal documentation (e.g., case report, supplemental report or accident report)."
- Examples: Citizens reporting a shooting, citizens reporting a traffic accident with injuries, citizens reporting a burglary, citizens reporting a ringing alarm bell, officers finding a stolen vehicle, detectives making an arrest, officers searching out and arresting a fugitive, officer field interviews of persons observed in suspicious circumstances, citizens reporting a neighbor problem or suspicious activity.
- Crimes: Upon investigation, some calls for service are called crimes:
- Any particular incident may involve one or more crimes committed, or believed to be committed, by one or more suspects involving one or more victims. At present, criminal incidents and other police calls for service are categorized by a four digit number called a Uniform Crime Report (UCR) code. The first eight of these classification codes are called Part I Crimes, and include Homicide, Sexual Assault, Robbery, Aggravated Assault, Burglary, Larceny, Auto Theft and Arson.
- When an officer completes a preliminary investigation in the field, the officer gives the call a UCR code based on the circumstances uncovered. After a trained records clerk reviews the paperwork related to the call, the UCR code may be amended to better fit the strict Uniform Crime Report definitions required by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. At the end of the month, final checks and corrections are made before a final "official" count of crimes is made. However, at any time, before or after the "final" UCR determination is made, additional facts may come to light that lead to the reclassification of the call from one UCR code to another.