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Mansfield University... Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Police Services & Safety - Student Safety


Accurate Descriptions


peopleOne way you can help in crisis situations is by giving accurate descriptions. Use helpful adjectives, take notice of distinguishing characteristics... the information you provide can help immensely.

When describing a person:

  • Share any characteristics such as tattoos, birthmarks, etc. that will make a person stand out
  • Notice permanent features--hair color, height, facial structure, etc.-- rather than solely focusing on clothes because those can be changed easily
When describing an object (i.e. a car, a weapon, etc.):
  • Take note of the basics such as size, color and shape
  • Jot down any identifying characteristics, from part of a license plate number to an odor

When describing an incident:

  • Stay as objective as possible
  • Keep things in chronological order as much as you can
  • Provide a "reporter's view"--the who, what, where, why, when and how of a situation
  • Tell listeners where you were standing/sitting at the time of the incident so they can get a better feel for your vantage point