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Police News

Posted on: July 5, 2022

Behavior is Suspicious - not Persons

Suspicious Behavior

EPD Family Meeting 

Behavior is Suspicious - not Persons 

Erie family, we depend on you to tell us when you observe something unusual unfolding before your eyes. As always, call us immediately about all suspicious activity, and never be embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. 

Trust Your Instinct 

Let’s start with, “people aren’t suspicious – behavior is.”  When we receive a call about a ‘suspicious person’, we surmise the caller intends to explain what the person is doing in that moment. Call us when it is happening by dialing 911. If the event is no longer occurring, call the non-emergent line (303-441-4444).  

If something is out of place and not quite right – we'd love to hear from you. Posting directly to social media, while perhaps is exhilarating to share with the masses, isn’t helpful and can have unintended consequences. We’ve got you – call us. When you call us: 

First, tell us your location. 
Next, be ready to describe what is suspicious about the actions of the person.  
Then, dive into a description of the individual.  

Is it Suspicious? 

  • Running 
    Does the action indicate someone is in a hurry and does it have a heightened sense of urgency or tension? Is the person looking about secretly as if they are pursued? That could be suspicious behavior. 

  • Door-to-Door 
    Does the action involve a person, or persons, going from house to house? Is one or more person(s) entering a back or side yard? That could be suspicious behavior. 

  • Carrying Something 
    It’s not typical to see a person carrying a crowbar down your street, especially at an unusual hour. Does this person appear to be lurking? That could be suspicious behavior. 

  • Vehicles 
    We know what you’re thinking – vehicles don’t behave! Stick with us... If you observe one or more persons sitting in a parked car, what is suspicious about their actions? Are they scanning the area? Detaching parts or accessories? Are they forcibly putting another person into a vehicle? Are they operating the vehicle slowly without lights in an aimless or repetitive course? That could be suspicious behavior (involving a vehicle).

  • Noises 
    Combative screaming, an explosion, abnormal and alarming dog barking? That could be suspicious behavior (involving noises). 

Is it Unusual? 

What about a person who doesn’t ‘fit in’ or belong in the area makes it unusual? In observing their behavior, are they: 

  • Unable to hold a conversation, being evasive when asked a direct question, changing the subject? 

  • Nervous glancing, experiencing unexplained discomfort, ill-at-ease? 

  • Repeatably entering or exiting a home, building or facility? 

  • Wearing oversized of loose-fitting clothing, such as a large coat in the summer? 

  • Concealing their face or turning away? Hiding in the shadows or behind objects? 

  • Asking questions that aren’t common about the location of something, security measures, or availability of chemicals? 

One last thing to close this family meeting, and you’ll be on your way to your activities. As a community, we are a family; we stick together.  We’ll be stronger for having these hard conversations. Will you promise to share this messaging with those who need it most? You know who they are. Just remember who you are (insert mom voice screaming at hug and go).  

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