Morenci police chiefs talks about use of 911

Written by David Green.

Need to get in contact with a Morenci police officer and need to do it fast? Play it safe, says Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks, and call 911.

Weeks has heard from residents who were reluctant to call 911 because “they didn’t want to bother them about it” or “it wasn’t that big a deal.”

Instead, they called the Morenci police office and—because the officer was out on patrol—they didn’t get an answer. At this point some people leave a message on the voice recorder and some people go out driving in hopes of flagging down the officer.

Weeks suggests that residents go ahead and use 911 for two reasons.

“We want to make sure citizens are getting served by us,” he said, “and it improves our ability to get involved in the case as soon as possible.”

Weeks can recall times in the past where a faster response time could have led to the apprehension of a subject. A faster response would have resulted from a 911 call.

By using that number, a dispatcher in Adrian alerts the Morenci officer on duty, or, if necessary, the nearest county or state police officer.

Many people think of 911 only for emergencies, Weeks said, although people don’t all have the same idea of what constitutes an emergency.

Guidelines from the dispatcher’s office urge people to call rather than worry about whether or not it’s appropriate. Better safe than sorry, it reads.

If a situation doesn’t need an immediate response, Weeks said, such as calling about the progress of a case, to obtain a police report, etc., the Morenci office business line should be called at 458-7104. Otherwise, don’t hesitate to use the 911 number.

“All citizens pay for the service,” he said, “it’s there to be used.”

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