From the Hayward police department:
“Do not hesitate to call the police. It is important for the public to feel comfortable when calling the police. If you think you should call the police, dial (510) 293-7000 (non-emergency) or 9-1-1 for a life-threatening emergency or a crime-in-progress.
“Don’t assume that someone else has called the police. Don’t worry about ‘bothering’ the police and don’t worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. It is better to act than to think about what could happen if you didn’t act at all.”
“The dispatch communications center is busy at times and may ask that you hold on the line. Please be patient. When your call is answered, be prepared to give complete information about who it happened to, what happened, where it happened, when or how long ago, and any weapons used. Give cross streets for locations and license plates for vehicle descriptions. It is also a good idea to update dispatch on information as situations change.
“Please remember that just because you see the police in your neighborhood frequently, or you see a patrol car pass by, that the police know everything that goes on there. They depend on you to be the eyes and ears for them. You have important information that they don’t always see or hear from a patrol car.”