TIFFIN POLICE DEPARTMENT

FAQ's

 

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FAQ's are Frequently Asked Questions about subjects of common interest. The answers covered in this section of FAQ's cover the operations of the Tiffin Police Department only. We encourage your comments about this section and let us know if you would like answers to something not detailed here.



Q. Who do I call in the Police Department?


A. Obviously, this depends on why you are calling. Here are some common contacts:

Report an emergency: Dispatch/9-1-1
Report a non-emergency: Dispatch/447-2323
Make a police report: Dispatch/447-2323
For a copy of a case: Records/447-2323
Complaints: Lieutenant
Follow-up on your case: Officer who took report
Traffic - Parking: Patrol
Anonymous tips: Detective Division/447-2323
Property return: Property Officer
General Information: 447-2323
Job Information:
Recruitment Page
Ride-Along Program: Ride Along Page
Public Presentations: Chief/Sergeant
(Note: Area Code is 419)

Q. How do I apply for a job with the Tiffin Police Department?

A. Read the Recruitment Page. A test is good for up to two (2) years.  We will also post information from time to time on this web page for other civilian positions within the department.

Q. How experienced are Tiffin Police Officers?

A. The average level of experience for Tiffin Police Officers is approximately thirteen (13) years of service with the City. This has resulted in a work force that is both highly experienced and committed to giving a high level of performance to the community.

Q. How safe is Tiffin?

A. The City of Tiffin is a relatively safe community. Take a look at our selected crime statistics page for further information.

It should be noted that every community is going to have crime. Even though Tiffin is a small rural community, it remains the largest City in Seneca County, providing much of the commercial, professional, educational, and recreational/entertainment services for the region. Additionally, the City has several State Routes going through it.

Q. How can I get to know the Police Department better?

A. There are numerous ways to become better acquainted with our Police Department. A few of these include:

1. Participate in a
Ride-Along with a police officer. See first hand what a police officer's job is all about. There are some age restrictions for this program. For further information, contact the Chief Monday - Friday 0830-1530. (419)447-2323.

2. If you are part of a group or association, participate in a tour of the police facility. For further information, contact (419)447-2323.

3. Ask for a representative from the Police Department to give a presentation on a public safety related topic to your group or organization. For further information, contact (419)447-2323.

Q. Can I get someone from the Police Department to speak to my organization?

A. Yes, as mentioned in the previous question, the Police Department has available officers skilled and certified to speak in a wide variety of  public safety related subjects to community groups and organizations. Topics have included general issues involving the Police Department and the criminal justice system, residential/commercial crime prevention, school career days, K-9 demonstrations, Special Response Team demonstrations, personal protection, child abuse awareness/prevention, violence in the workplace, defensive driving/driver awareness, parenting, self-defense, etc. For further information, contact (419)447-2323.

Q. I need to be fingerprinted. When can I get it done and what does it cost?


A. The Police Department provides fingerprinting 24 hours a day at no cost.

Q. I am going on vacation. Will the Police Department check on my house until I return?

A. Yes, the Tiffin Police Department has an active House check Program. Prior to going on vacation come into or call the Police Department and they will place you on a list. Be prepared to list the license plate numbers of any vehicles left at the house, and the name and phone numbers of anyone who will be responsible for the location while you are gone. Officers check this list prior to the beginning of their shift and make every effort to drive by these residences to see if there is any suspicious activity.

Q. I have had several phone calls from people representing themselves as police officers calling and asking for donations for this and that! Are the callers really police officers? I would like to help, but it sounds "fishy" to me.

A. Local police and sheriffs departments generally do not solicit for donations over the telephone, however, some private organizations which have police officers as members do. If you have any questions about solicitations, call the Police Department prior to committing to any donations. (419)447-2323.

Q. When I call 9-1-1, how does the Police Department know where I am?

A. The Tiffin Police Department's 9-1-1 system automatically displays the phone number, name and address to the dispatcher on any incoming 9-1-1 calls. The dispatcher will still ask your phone number and address to verify the information. All 9-1-1 calls on a cellular phone show up as Out of Area so you will have to give your location. Remember, 9-1-1 is a powerful tool and has already saved many lives, but it is used for emergencies only. All other requests for law enforcement should be made on the Department's regular line (419) 447-2323.

Q. Sometimes in my neighborhood, I see things that are out of place, or unusual, or people who are "suspicious". I don't really feel comfortable with calling the police as it may be nothing. Can you tell me about the procedure.

A. At any given time there are officers on the street. The Tiffin Police Department counts on the twenty thousand sets of eyes from our citizens to alert us to unusual situations. Anytime someone calls, a dispatcher will take the information, ask questions, decide on what/whom to send, and the urgency of the call. We will respond to every call for service, though obviously, the less important calls may take some time to get to. The Police Department appreciates your calls and we rely on you to assist us by calling us whenever you see anything that is suspicious or unusual. For any calls that you do not consider an emergency, please call the Police Department at (419)447-2323.

Q. What can be done about graffiti in Tiffin?

A. The Tiffin Police Department needs your help in preventing the spread of this problem. Persons caught are prosecuted and required to make restitution and participate in community work programs. Graffiti is often gang related and some is considered "art" by taggers. Whatever the reason, graffiti is unsightly, detracts from the community and accounts for significant dollar damage to property. The best strategy to remove graffiti as a problem is to eliminate incidence of graffiti as soon as it appears. Graffiti is generally perpetrated by youths who want their graffiti message to be seen. Prompt removal of the message prevents this, and the perpetrator is likely to commit the crime again somewhere else, if at all. If graffiti occurs on your property, report it to the Tiffin Police Department immediately. After the police respond and photograph the graffiti, clean it up as soon as possible. If you see graffiti on someone else's property, including City and school property, report it to the Tiffin Police Department immediately. (419)447-2323.

Q. What can be done about annoying or harassing phone calls?

A. When you call the Tiffin Police Department advise the dispatcher of the problem. An Officer will be assigned to your case and he/she will conduct an investigation. The officer will contact you to determine if you desire prosecution or if you just want the calls to stop. If you don't know who is making the calls, the Officer will give you a case number. You should then call the phone company annoyance bureau with your case number handy, to have them place a "trap" on your phone. It is important that you log the date and time of the calls which are being trapped. After the phone company has traced the trapped calls they will contact the Police Department for further investigation. The Officer will then contact you and compare the information form the phone company with your logs to determine who is calling you.

Q. Should I install a burglar alarm in my home?

A. Having an alarm system is a matter of personal choice. Some people consider an alarm to be a deterrent to would-be thieves. Others feel that the alarm gives them added security when they are home or away. Alarm systems vary in cost, depending on what type of detection system is employed. Some components are readily available at home improvement centers for "do it yourself" installation. Many licensed alarm companies are listed in the phone book. We recommend that alarm buyers get at least two bids for the work, ask for references, and make sure there is training provided to everyone who will use the alarm system. Should you install an alarm, you will need an alarm permit. Contact the Tiffin Police for information regarding the permit (419)447-2323. False alarms waste police resources. After three (3) false alarms in one year, you will be billed for the police response.

Q. Why do two (2) officers respond to alarm calls or other calls for that matter?

A. All alarm calls are considered to be real. The possibility of one or more persons committing a burglary is a high risk call and requires two or more police officers to protect the officers, secure the premises, and safeguard occupants, if any. Our dispatchers will routinely dispatch two officers to any alarm call. The police officers may request additional help if the circumstances or location warrant it. Other types of calls are significantly more serious than others so more than one police officer will be dispatched to them initially and if not needed then one officer will return to service and the other will take the report.

Q. Can we do anything about the plastic advertisement bags and unsolicited newspapers that are thrown on our porches or driveways?

A. Not at present. Court cases have ruled that tossing of advertisements, or such similar activity, are protected by the Constitution. You may simply toss such advertisements into a garbage can and not read them if you wish.

Q. If I have been involved in an accident, and want a copy of the police report, what can I do?

A. If you have an interest in the accident, either as a vehicle owner, property owner, or driver, you may obtain a copy of the report at the Records Division of the Police Department. In most cases just contacting your Insurance Company with the report number the Officer gave you will be faster as we can give them the information directly.

Q. Why do I sometimes see two officers at a traffic stop when someone is getting a ticket?

A. On a "normal" traffic stop there are several things that are going on. A citation is written and the driver's license and the vehicle's license plate are normally checked in the BMV computer. The second officer is there to assist the first officer in case warrants may be found on the driver/passengers, the driver may be OVI or DUS, etc. Additionally, a "routine" traffic stop may have evolved into a more serious law enforcement situation which requires more than one police officer to handle the incident.

Why do Police Officers sometimes park their car protruding into traffic when they stop a motorist?

This is to protect the officer from being struck from the rear by approaching vehicles.

Do Tiffin Police Officers have quotas for traffic citations?

Absolutely not. However, police officers are expected to enforce traffic laws during their shift.

Q. How do I protest a parking ticket?

A. If you have received a parking ticket which you feel was unjustified or because of circumstances beyond your control you feel that a ticket should not have been issued, you may come to the Police Department and fill out a "Request for Parking Citation Cancellation" form. This form then goes to the Officer who wrote the violation who will then decide whether your reason is valid or not and get back with you.

Q. What can I do about vehicles parked in front of my house or business?

A. The Tiffin City Municipal Code allows the Police Department to tow away vehicles which have been parked in one location for 72 hours. These vehicles are considered abandoned because they haven't moved in that length of time. When you call the Tiffin Police Department be ready to give them the following information, the vehicle's location, license plate number and a brief description of the vehicle. The Tiffin Police Department will ensure that the vehicle is not reported stolen and will send an officer out to mark the vehicle's exact location and fill out a warning notice. The notice will have the date and time the officer marked the vehicle. If the vehicle is not moved after 72 hours from the time the officer leaves the notice, an attempt will be made by the Officer to locate the registered owner. If no one can be located then the vehicle will be towed and stored at the registered owner's expense.

Q. My neighborhood seems like a speed trap, with police officers working radar a lot. Don't they have more important calls to take care of?

A. Collisions, particularly injury collisions, are a serious concern to all of us. Excessive speed was a factor in many of these accidents. We strive to work a balance between all of our responsibilities, including traffic enforcement. Our aim at using radar is to reduce the speed of the vehicles traveling the roadway, and bring the average speed of cars using the road down to a safe level. In many cases, radar is only used on a street after an exhaustive engineering study has been made of the roadway. Such a study includes the measuring of vehicle speeds, the accident history of the roadway for the past five years, the state average of collisions for similar roadways, and the nature of the roadway and neighborhood itself. In many cases the neighbors themselves in that particular neighborhood have requested the traffic enforcement.

Q. What can be done about vehicles speeding down my street?

A. Call the Tiffin Police Department and advise the dispatcher of the problem. When a police officer is available, he/she will be sent out to your area for extra patrol and radar traffic enforcement. It also helps to tell the dispatcher the time(s) of the violations.

Q. How does traffic radar work?

A. Simply speaking, a radar device sends out a signal which bounces off the approaching vehicle and returns to the device which determines the speed of the vehicle and displays it in miles per hour to the operator. The radar "guns" have built in calibrating devices to insure their accuracy. They are tested each day they are in use. Additionally, the Police Department uses moving and stationary radar devices.

Q.  I see city police officers in the County sometimes. Do they have the authority to be there?

A. In Ohio, municipal police officers are given their peace officer authority under the Ohio Revised Code. By law we can be requested to assist or back-up other agencies For example, a Tiffin Police Officer could legally exercise peace officer authority in Bettsville or Republic or the County. However, the use of peace officer authority outside the city employing a police officer is generally governed by department policies and state and local mutual aid/assistance agreements.

Q. Why do I occasionally see police officers from several agencies at one incident?

A. The law enforcement agencies which serve Seneca County have an excellent working relationship with each other. These include the Seneca County Sheriff's Office, Attica Police Department, Bettsville Police Department, Bloomville Police Department,  Fostoria Police Department, Green Springs Police Department and the Republic Police Department. When one agency calls for assistance due to a significant incident which requires additional personnel, the other agencies respond without hesitation. These types of responses are also dictated and governed by department policies and state and local mutual aid/assistance agreements.

My neighbor's dog is always barking. Why don't the police do anything about it?

When we receive a barking dog complaint, an officer is sent to investigate. If the owners are not home, we will try to obtain a responsible person to take control of the animals. We will also enter the complaint into our computer system. If enough complaints are received from a certain address over time, establishing this as a chronic nuisance a citation can be issued.

Does The Tiffin Police Department provide bicycle licenses? Is there a fee?

You will need to bring your bicycle (or all of its information) to the front counter of the Tiffin Police Department and a dispatcher will issue a license. There currently is no fee, and the license will be valid forever. The information will be put into our computer system and is used to look up stolen bikes or found bikes to get them back to their owners even if the license is scraped off of the bike. 

When and how can I file a police report?

The Tiffin Police Department is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. If a crime occurred in Tiffin and you are in Tiffin, we will send an officer to assist you or to investigate the crime. If you prefer, you can come to the police department, and an officer will be called in to take your report.

When can I pick up a copy of a report?

The business office is open Monday through Friday, from 8AM until 4:30PM, with the exception of some holidays.

 

 

 

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