About the Drug HotlineThe 707-543-DRUG (3784) Hotline was established as a means of providing the public with the opportunity to anonymously report drug and gang activities in their neighborhoods. The Hotline is answered and monitored by department personnel with messages being checked on a daily basis. Anyone reporting crimes can leave a recorded message describing the activity, or they can request to be contacted by an officer. To ensure your complaint is handled properly, it is important you are aware of the following information when reporting criminal activity in your neighborhood.
Many times, people reporting crimes in their neighborhoods are intimidated by fear of reprisal from the persons responsible for the criminal activity. California law identifies persons who report crimes for the good of their neighborhood as "Citizen Informants" and allows a means for criminals to be prosecuted without revealing the identity of the informant. The Santa Rosa Police Department will hold your identity in the strictest confidence and will not reveal your identity if you request anonymity. It is not necessary to identify yourself when you report crime on the 543-DRUG Hotline. However, complaints are more easily investigated if officers can contact the person reporting the crime. This allows the officer to judge the validity of the complaint and gain valuable information that will aid in the investigation.
What Happens When I Report Drug Activity on the 707-543-DRUG Hotline?The Hotline is checked for messages and if a new complaint is received, it is logged and assigned to an officer. The officer assigned a complaint performs a thorough records check for the following information:
- SRPD Records for prior contacts and arrests at the address
- Real estate records to identify the owner of the property
- Probation and Parole records
- Criminal History records of persons associated with the residence
- DMV records for Driver's License and Vehicle Registrations
- Sonoma County Court records for outstanding arrest warrants
Dozens of these complaints are received each week and officers commonly have more than 10 complaints assigned to them at any one time. This requires each complaint be prioritized based on the nature of the complaint, combined with several other factors. Additionally, many complaints are very difficult to investigate and may take weeks, months, or even longer before results are seen. A great deal of patience and communication is needed during this period.
What Information Should I Provide When I Report Drug Activity in My Neighborhood?The address where the activity is occurring. If you cannot determine the actual physical address, describe the residence completely. A good rule of thumb is to provide a description as if you were throwing a party at the residence and giving directions to guests. When describing the location, you can use cross streets (3rd house on the left as you turn from Main Street). Be sure to include the color of the residence, including the trim and the roof type and color. Tell us if the residence has a brick facade or picket fence, or any other unusual landmarks.
Describe the nature of the activity completely. Many times we receive complaints from anonymous persons who state, "The people at 123 Main Street are dealing drugs." These complaints are very difficult to investigate and require the officers begin their investigation at ground zero. Additionally, complaints such as these are very difficult to corroborate and often go unresolved. Tell the officers if you see specific activity that suggests someone is selling drugs from the residence. Many times these activities include:
- Describe all the people living at the residence completely. This information should include: Race, age, height, weight, hair color, eye color, facial hair, and distinguishing marks or tattoos of each occupant.
- Describe any activity you deem unusual such as digging in the yard, repeated trips to a storage shed, or strange privacy modifications to the residence.
- Describe frequent visitors to the residence and their vehicles. If possible, obtain license plate numbers of these visitors. Although this information is helpful, it is not crucial and can be gained by other means. Do not jeapordize your safety or alert the occupants to your activities to obtain this information.
- Describe vehicles at the residence and if known, identify who drives them. Sometimes vehicles are difficult to describe. Be sure to estimate the year of the vehicle and provide the following information:
- Any mechanical defects - (no front plate, headlight out, dented right fender, etc.)
- Body Style (2 door, 4 door, hatchback, pickup, van, etc.)
- Color - if vehicle is more than one color, describe in detail (blue Olds with white roof, etc.)
- License Plate Number - very important
- Make (Chevy, Ford, Oldsmobile, etc.)
- Model (Camaro, Mustang, Cutlass, etc.)
- People parking around the corner or down the street and approaching the residence on foot.
- People waiting in vehicles outside the residence.
- People who visit the residence often and only stay for 15 minutes or less.
- Unusual amount of people coming and going from the residence, many times at odd hours of the day or night.