The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Tactics and Training

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old March 29, 2011, 03:09 PM   #1
EricReynolds
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 393
When and when not to call police

Simple scenario: You hear a noise late at night while asleep in your bed. Is someone in your house? What do you do? The smart answer is to call 911 before anything else. To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish. But what if the noise was nothing? Just the wind outside or creeks that old houses make or maybe you're just plain hearing things. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise, the police would be annoyed with you, and after a few calls, you'd be the boy who cried wolf. So what do you do? Ignore it? Come charging out of your bedroom armed? No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought.
EricReynolds is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 03:15 PM   #2
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,776
Quote:
To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish.
Why is that foolish?
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 03:23 PM   #3
EricReynolds
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 23, 2008
Location: Syracuse, NY
Posts: 393
It's a matter of playing it safe. Why anyone who thinks there is an intruder in their home and wouldn't call the police first is beyond me.
EricReynolds is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 03:26 PM   #4
kinggabby
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 22, 2011
Location: OKC
Posts: 473
"No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought."


Thought there was no right or wrong answer.
I say follow your own instincts.
kinggabby is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 03:27 PM   #5
Crazy88Fingers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 936
If I was uncertain I would call 911 and keep them on the line while I did some investigating.
__________________
"And I'm tellin' you son, well it ain't no fun, staring straight down a .44"
-Lynyrd Skynyrd
Crazy88Fingers is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 04:37 PM   #6
Don H
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 8, 2000
Location: SLC,Utah
Posts: 2,705
I'd grab my gun and then make a phone call because I don't think a phone makes a very good defensive weapon if the intruder were to make it to my location before the dispatcher answered or the police arrived but then, I guess I'm just foolish and full of bravado. Fortunately though, there are no right and wrong answers except for some people.
Don H is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 07:25 PM   #7
Edward429451
Junior member
 
Join Date: November 12, 2000
Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Posts: 9,494
If I was in a barricaded position and was absolutely certain that intruders were present then I would call 911. I do not barricade myself for bumps in the night though. Why call 911 before I am certain of intruders? I go against most published advice and clear my own home. Yes, I know, but so far so good.

If and when I ever call 911, it is not going to be because I heard a noise and am scared. I will have information for them when I call. Facts of an incident, wether over or still unfolding.

It makes sense to call the police as least as possible. If I am unsure of the status of security in my home, I will likely be too busy to distract myself with a phone knowing they will be probably 15 minutes away, and the dynamics of the incident will command my attention until I determine the specifics. It sounds dangerous and yet, I am not known as a pest to the police dept.
Edward429451 is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 07:40 PM   #8
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,509
Quote:
Originally Posted by EricReynolds
It's a matter of playing it safe. Why anyone who thinks there is an intruder in their home and wouldn't call the police first is beyond me.
Did you start this thread to ask a question, or to make a statement?
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 07:58 PM   #9
AK103K
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 1, 2001
Location: PA -- In the shadow of the Shade
Posts: 8,019
Id call for an ambulance. If somehow, anyone were to have got inside, they would be dealing with 250 pounds of annoyed Rottweiler. I dont have to go look anywhere, Ill know exactly where to find them, if they stay. Even if they leave, I doubt they can make the 50 yards to the road before the dogs catch up. I do feed them, I swear!
__________________
“The enemy is anybody who's going to get you killed, no matter which side he is on.”
― Joseph Heller, Catch-22
AK103K is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 10:49 PM   #10
highvel
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 21, 2010
Location: Powhatan VA
Posts: 633
WOW, before I'd do all that I think I would move
__________________
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.--Mark Twain

"I have opinions of my own 'strong opinions' but I don't always agree with them."--George Bush
highvel is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 11:03 PM   #11
Nnobby45
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 20, 2004
Posts: 3,148
Quote:
Simple scenario: You hear a noise late at night while asleep in your bed. Is someone in your house? What do you do? The smart answer is to call 911 before anything else. To grab your gun first, all full of bravado is foolish. But what if the noise was nothing? Just the wind outside or creeks that old houses make or maybe you're just plain hearing things. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise, the police would be annoyed with you, and after a few calls, you'd be the boy who cried wolf. So what do you do? Ignore it? Come charging out of your bedroom armed? No right or wrong answer here, just different schools of thought.
Well, you contradicted yourself. If you called 911 every time you heard a noise the police would be annoyed. So why would calling the police be the smart thing to do every time you heard a noise?

No, grabbing your gun is not bravado. Why would it be if if the noise is is potentially an intruder and calling the police is one of the options you're considering? I'd be inclined to have my weapon in hand while assessing the situation. If that's bravado, then that's me.

As you said, there are different schools of thought.
Nnobby45 is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 11:07 PM   #12
blakdawg
Member
 
Join Date: February 17, 2011
Location: San Jose CA
Posts: 19
So a really good alarm system will make sure you don't get a "false negative", e.g., no bad guy will get in your house without setting off the alarm.

But that's only half of the problem - a really good alarm system can also be triggered by something comparatively innocent - like maybe an exterior door that wasn't shut well enough for the latch to catch, that blows open in the night with a strong gust of wind. Or whatever.

If your alarm were to go off, are you so certain that it will only trigger due to unauthorized human activity that you will automatically call 911 and report a home invasion/hot burglary in process?

I agree with the commentator above who said that they will only call 911 if they've verified that there's a real problem. When I hear a "bump in the night" I will investigate first - carefully, and typically armed - but I'm not going to call 911 unless I feel awfully certain that I have a problem that merits that level of response.

In my particular circumstances, if I were to call 911 while my wife & dogs & I hole up in the master bedroom, the cops will need to kick our front door in to clear the house, if a bad guy hasn't left it open. That's going to be pretty expensive, and I would hate to make them do that (both in terms of wasting their resources, and me having to replace the door/jamb/lock/whatever) just because a book fell over on the bookshelf or something.

If I knew for sure there were bad people in the house - could hear clear footsteps, or voices, or a collection of activity that was clearly human - I would call. But for the typical "weird noise", I don't think I have an emergency yet, just an unknown situation.
blakdawg is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 11:09 PM   #13
mcwop
Member
 
Join Date: February 6, 2011
Posts: 34
Another question is what if you do not hear it? That was the exact scenario for me. I was sacked out on Vicks cold medicine, while someone was trying to break in. My dog stopped it, but I did not even figure out what happened until the next day - long story. I live in a big urban house. My recommendation is have a gun ready, have a plan to use that gun, and GET a DOG. Dog's are the best home defense ever, at minimum an excellent sentry.

Problem is cops may not get there in time, and nothing works out as planned.
mcwop is offline  
Old March 29, 2011, 11:17 PM   #14
Justice06RR
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 21, 2010
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,277
How about just get a guard dog?
Justice06RR is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 01:05 AM   #15
stephen426
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 11, 2005
Posts: 2,886
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justice06RR
How about just get a guard dog?
You beat me to it. I have an 85 lb. akita that is pretty intimidating. She doesn't bark unless there is someone there. A friend's neighnor had a pair of akitas. Two kids decided to break in through the dog door. I guess they figured they never heard any barking so there probably weren't any dogs. When the first guy got in half way, the akitas pounced him and tore him up. If they killed him, he would have been a shoe in for the Darwin Award. Do NOT break in through dog doors that are big enough to EASILY crawl through... You might come face to face with Cujo on the other side!!!

__________________
The ATF should be a convenience store instead of a government agency!
stephen426 is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 07:40 AM   #16
Dwight55
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 18, 2004
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 2,564
First, . . . make it as hard as you can for the bg to get in unannounced. Dead bolts, motion detector lights, rose bushes planted under the windows, maybe even one of those collapsable screens used to keep toddlers out of an area, placed across the hallway leading back to your bedroom.

Then, . . . think about what woke you up, . . . last time I called the sherrif, a bunch of drunks were driving up & down the road, . . . one screaming "Help, . . . Help, . . . someone help me". I didn't hear the truck, just the voice, . . . at 2 AM.

I haven't done it yet, . . . but I've toyed with the idea of a motion detector setting off a small amplifier with a cd of barking dogs, . . . should get bg's attention at the same time it wakes me up, . . . and I don't have to feed the dogs

May God bless,
Dwight
__________________
www.dwightsgunleather.com
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
Dwight55 is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 07:46 AM   #17
Yankee Doodle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: NY state
Posts: 577
Once again

First, dial 911 and put the phone on the floor. You don't have to say a word. The call is automatically traced. They WILL come.
Then, keep up a loud commentary as to what is going on, so the Police dispatcher on the other end can advise the responding cars.
In a LOUD, CLEAR voice, announce that you are armed. You really want the cops to know this. If you leave your room, say so in a loud clear voice, and describe what you are wearing. (if you are alone in the house, and have no one else to worry about, stay where you are.) You really want the cops to know this.
DO NOT attempt to search the house. Let the skells come to you.
When the Cops show up, and they will, they are going to be ready for trouble.
Do not meet them at the door with a drawn gun.
__________________
God Bless America
Y.D.
Yankee Doodle is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 07:56 AM   #18
youngunz4life
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 15, 2010
Location: United States of America
Posts: 1,877
I agree with you yankee but I thought of that on the other thread about this. I'm not going to be focusing on the phone and I might and might not be loud(probably not), but the 911 call will be made with house phone ASAP. I don't think I'll have time for multitasking abilities to worry about the phone after I make the call though.

Going towards the OP...how many people actually call 911 when hearing a noise at night? the op's thread is a good point. yes, I am calling if my instincts tell me too but there are other noises which don't get this response numerous of times from gobs of people especially when you're dead asleep when the noise is made. now a loud, different type of noise that wakes you up suddenly will many times steer your instincts straight but there is a grey area. also, how many people sleep with the ringers off? when that alarm company calls hopefully you're not in dreamland. Sometimes people don't believe something is wrong and walk into a trap if that's the right word. I am definately not clearing the house myself. I'll make my determination from the bedroom.
__________________
"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!" -Admiral Farragut @ Battle of Mobile Bay 05AUG1864
youngunz4life is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 08:10 AM   #19
jhenry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 27, 2006
Location: Ozarks
Posts: 1,813
My first responsibility is for the safety and welfare of my family. It has nothing to do with being "all full of bravado" no matter what those who would array themselves against us would like people to believe.

If I really think someone else is inside my home I will first and foremost insure the safety of my children while my wife calls it in. She is armed as well.

If you consider calling 911 as a first line of defense, well, OK then it's your hide (and your kids). I'm sure they will write a nice report.

When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
__________________
"A Liberal is someone who doesn't care what you do, as long as it's mandatory". - Charles Krauthammer
jhenry is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 09:00 AM   #20
foghorn leghorn
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 18, 2010
Location: In a Van down by the River
Posts: 181
what are the police going to do? you still have to go outside and meet them.
is the bad guy supposed to run if the cruiser pulls up outside? Just get a siren, and turn it on when you get concerned about bumps in the night.
Police will want to give your place a pat down, and if you have something
out of the ordinary, like a copy of guns and ammo on the coffee table, it goes in the notebook.
They dont just respond and go away until next time you need them, thay have to close out their call, with an explanation, names, dates, locations. If they dont, and you get attacked after they leave, they will get sued.

I hesitate to even opine, since its such an invitation for cross examination.
If you dont feel safe, there must be a reason, not just a solution.
Moving is an option, as the man said. Dogs are a big commitment.
Putting all your faith in the police, is like letting the TSA grope your pre-teen daughter, because it makes you safe. The trade off is not justified. I wouldn't fly, if I had to bend over one of my loved ones.
If I had to check under the bed and behind all the doors when I came back from the mall, I wouldn't let my loved ones live there.
Your home is your castle, and you have to feel safe there, if nowhere else.
If you think these are absurd comparisons, how did you end up in a house that is insecure, and able to be entered, without braking down the door or smashing in a window?
__________________
ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ
Liberate America... Free the Republic
-NRA Life Member-
foghorn leghorn is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 10:09 AM   #21
Yankee Doodle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 5, 2004
Location: NY state
Posts: 577
Once again

If I may expand a bit

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Having spent most of my adult life as a cop, let me tell you what is going through the mind of the cops responding to your call.
First, and foremost, he/she wants to be able to go home after his/her shift.
Anything you can do to help him/her do this, will make their job easier, and you safer.
The more information you provide, the better for you and for them.
Our dispatchers were trained to ask every complainant on this type of call the following questions
What is your sex?
What is your race?
How tall are you?
Long or short hair?
What are you wearing?
Where in the home are you?
Are there other family members in the home?
Where are they
Are you armed?
(if so) What are you armed with?
This way, the call goes out to the cars something like this.
"Complainent is a white male, approx 6' tall, short brown hair wearing white underwear.
Be advised that he is armed with a Colt, blue steel, .357 magnum revolver. He is now in the bedroom at the top of the stairs on the right, with his two children.
His wife is in the bedroom on the left, armed with a 12 gauge shotgun. Advise station before entry, and we will advise complainants to place their weapons on the floor, and meet you when you get to the bedroom doors."
OK, the responding officers now have all the information they need to insure that you don't get taken for the intruder. Safer for them, much safer for you.
I have responded to quite a few of these calls over the years, and having this info has mede the job a lot easier. More important, it has made the armed homeowner a lot safer. The safety of the public is the only reason cops get paid in the first place.
As an aside, you may not hear the cops arrive. When responding to this type of call, they will have turned off the top lights and siren far enough away so that the perp will not hear them coming. It's a safety thing.
Sorry if I dragged this out too long.
__________________
God Bless America
Y.D.
Yankee Doodle is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 03:07 PM   #22
Let it Bleed
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2006
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 534
I think some are being a little harsh towards the OP because instead of him just asking the question "how do you determine when to call the police when you hear a noise at night," he first stated two assumptions as fact.

However, read in its entirety, I inferred that the OP’s premise is that when trying to follow the advice of many experts, who espouse the opinion that it is imprudent for a homeowner to attempt clearing the home if they believe an intruder may be in the house, we face a catch-22. That is, how do you know if there is an intruder without first investigating and confirming that there is in fact an intruder? Therefore one is caught in a no-win situation. You must either heed the advice of staying put and calling 911 and consequently run the risk of false alarms, or you must disregard the advice, for fear of making these false alarm calls, and investigate the situation with possible dire consequences.

As many have already pointed out, there are many methods that will increase the likelihood of you knowing whether it’s an intruder or something innocuous. Ultimately there is no absolute answer, because your decision to call 911 will be the result of the totality of the circumstances. Recently I was awakened from a dead sleep by a loud noise. Having no idea what it was or from where it came, I grabbed my bedside flashlight and listened. If I had heard anything more, I’d have called 911, knelt behind the bed with pistol and flashlight (w/tactical tailcap) pointed at the doorway and waited. However, since I heard nothing further during the next minute or two, I was reasonably certain that no one was in the house. Therefore I got up, with a pistol in my right hand and a flashlight in my left, and took a look around.

Personally I’m going to err on the side of caution and call 911 if I have any articulable suspicion that someone is in, or trying to get in, my house. But a noise that wakes me up is not enough. There has to be something that I can clearly state to a responding officer when asked why I thought someone was in, or attempting to get in my house.
__________________
. . . it seems that I am wiser than he is to this small extent, that I do not think that I know what I do not know.
Socrates
Let it Bleed is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 03:21 PM   #23
markj
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 27, 2005
Location: Crescent Iowa
Posts: 2,969
Quote:
how do you determine when to call the police when you hear a noise at night,
After the gun shot, Mom is darn good with that 357 and she is closest to the main door. so if someone is foolish enough to come in and get shot, the only humane thing to do is call the ambulance for the sorry sap.

See first the creep would have lit up the motion detecters, then the dogs would go off, then the door opens and mom shoots him dead. I dial 911

If you have done nothing to prevent intgrusion you may wish to think about that first, I have kids so I cant just go shooting at every noise I hear or every shadow I see.
markj is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 03:55 PM   #24
Skadoosh
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 13, 2010
Location: Virginia
Posts: 1,776
Don H wrote:
Quote:
I'd grab my gun and then make a phone call because I don't think a phone makes a very good defensive weapon if the intruder were to make it to my location before the dispatcher answered or the police arrived
Bingo! A phone makes a lousy defensive weapon to engage a dangerous intruder.
__________________
NRA Life Member (2003)
USN Retired
I think that one of the notions common to the anti-gunner is the idea that being a victim is 'noble'; as if it is better to be noble in your suffering than disruptive in your own defense.
Skadoosh is offline  
Old March 30, 2011, 05:25 PM   #25
g.willikers
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2008
Posts: 5,270
If you do call the police, be danged sure you are not still holding the gun when they arrive.
And be double danged sure you don't approach the police with it.
Or you could be the guy they shoot.
Their adrenalin is pumping, too.
__________________
Lock the doors, they're coming in the windows.
g.willikers is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11352 seconds with 7 queries