EPD officers speak with residents during Community Watch meeting

The Inter-Mountain photo by Eliana McCutcheon Elkins Police Chief Glenn Galloway, officer J.C. Wilson and Senior Patrolman W.D. Butcher speak to residents during the Second Ward Community Watch meeting on Tuesday. The officers advised residents what to do if they see something suspicious.

ELKINS — Members of the Elkins Police Department spoke to residents during a Community Watch meeting in Second Ward on Tuesday. During the meeting the officers went over the basics of what residents can do to contribute to keeping the Elkins community safe.

“A lot of times when you call 911, their job is to get someone there to the emergency, find out where it’s at, what is going on and try to get there as quickly as possible. So, a lot of times when they answer the phone it seems a little bit impersonal but 911 has a really hard job,” Elkins Police Department Chief Glenn Galloway said. “I’ve been doing this for a while now and when I sit in the dispatch rooms, typically if there’s a car wreck, the person calling it in has a hard time saying where they are at and giving details about what color or model the car is, for example. It gets difficult for dispatch because they have to interpret the information so that they can send help to the correct location.”

The officers further explained to the community why dispatch answers the phone with, “Where is your emergency?” This is because if one is having an emergency and for some reason the phone gets disconnected, the department will know the exact location of the caller and will immediately send help.

“It is hard to think of this in the heat of the moment, but it is smart to leave your phone number if you want to follow up with someone. There’s plenty of times where we try to contact the person who called, but it is either a bad number or a neighbor’s phone,” Senior Patrolman W.D. Butcher said.

Later in the meeting, the Elkins Police Department acted out scenarios to help their fellow community learn how to observe details quickly, how to identify suspects and how to call in a 911 emergency.