Conversations at Your Front Door
Written by Crime Content Coordinator   

To politely but firmly close off a conversation with a stranger at your front door when you’ve had enough, say “I’m not interested.”  Then close the door and don’t give it too much thought afterward.  By slowly closing the door in their faces, you are not being impolite just being firm.  They know when they knock that there will be many people who are not interested – you are just one of those people.

When someone at your door is too insistent, or too suspicious or otherwise matches the police officer’s description given below of someone they would like to know about, don’t hesitate to call 911.

1. Dial 911

2. Say “Police” when the 911 operator asks what emergency you are reporting.

3. When the police answer, say that you have a Suspicious Person call. The police operator will want some details, a description of the person and direction of travel after leaving your house.  Do the best you can to help them track down the problem person.  Making the call is the right thing to do even though it may not qualify as an “emergency” in your mind.

Sometimes, a person comes to the door with a plea for help and/or a sad story of needing food, money or to use the telephone or facilities.  These requests should raise a flag of caution in your mind. There are many scam artists and burglars who cruise through neighborhoods looking for easy pickings.

If you decide that you cannot or do not want to help the person at the door, and that person is insistent, you can offer to the call the police for a Check Welfare response. If the person is legitimate, he or she may agree to wait for the police to assist them to find help.  If not, the person at your door may choose to move on to the next door or out of your neighborhood.  If the person hangs around, you may want to call 911 with a Suspicious Person or Unwanted Person report.
The following email was sent by Tucson Police to the Broadway-Broadmoor Neighborhood Association (Broadway/Country Club southwest) after a violent crime occurred in their neighborhood in September 2009.

"It is very important for you to lock your doors and windows when you are gone, and when you are home sleeping. If you are going to be home alone, it is best to keep everything locked up. If anyone sees any suspicious persons in the area you need to call in to report it. Let us decide if it is nothing. Obviously if you see a man walking normally down the street, you would not call. If you see a man walking in the alleys looking around, call; if you see a man walking down the street looking around, call in. If it is your neighbor who always takes an evening walk, don't call it in. If it is a man, woman, child and they are looking around, acting suspicious, or circling or walking up and down the street, call it in.

This situation is getting to the point where we have to constantly watch out for one another. Please pass this on and tell everyone to be overly suspicious of the sales people who come to the door but have no identification card, or will not give you the company's phone number and name, or don't even have any product with them, or even better, won't leave when you tell them you are not interested. These criminals think up new ways to get everyone to trust them, or give them an inch of ground. Please call 911 and let us find out it is nothing. Your safety is important to us! "

Tammie Thomas
Community Resource Officer
Tucson Police Department
Operations Division Midtown
Last Updated ( Sunday, 04 October 2009 )
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