Keep in touch with law enforcement officers

Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke has announced there are some problems with choices being made by local citizens who need to contact law enforcement officers.

The phone number at the police station is 983-2133. However, that phone is not manned at all times.

"There is a misconception that by calling the police department number, the person always will be in touch with an officer," Burke said.

"If someone is trying to make contact with an officer and the situation is NOT an emergency, that is the correct number to use," said Burke. "However, people may get a recording and they should be prepared to leave us a contact number so that an officer can call them back. First AND last names and an address are also helpful."

Burke added that telephone number is the one to use not only to reach an officer, but for leaving or requesting information.

"If anyone needs to speak to an officer immediately, or needs for an officer to get back to them right away and there is no one answering the telephone at the office, the caller needs to call Marion County Communications at 620-382-2144 or dial 911," said Burke.

However, he also cautioned residents to consider how urgent their need for an officer might be before calling 911.

"That line is strictly for emergencies," he said. "People need to use a little common sense before calling that number.

"We don't want to have the 911 line tied up for a non-emergency when someone else's need is urgent," Burke added.

There also is a "tip line" to the police department on the city's web site. The site address is After the home page comes up, click on the square with the police car and follow the prompts.

"We don't trace any messages," said Burke. "There is no need to leave a name on the web site or even the answering machine if someone wants to leave a tip. We don't use caller ID and we don't trace computer information."

Burke also encourages parents to be certain their young children know how to use 911 appropriately in case they are ever in an emergency situation.