How to Be a Good Eyewitness

The following witness tips were released from the Montgomery County Police:

Personal safety comes first. If you hear the sound of a gunshot, get down and/or seek cover.

Look in the direction of the sound. Make a mental note of persons or vehicles in that area.

With regard to people, remember that some facts and characteristics are permanent and some are temporary. Permanent features include height, weight, build and complexion. Temporary characteristics include clothing, hairstyle or hair color, facial hair (beard or mustache) and glasses.

Permanent vehicle characteristics include make and model. Temporary characteristics include color, tag number, dents/primer, lights on/off or broken/burned out.

Some temporary characteristics can be altered more easily than others.

Commit what you saw to memory. Have a pen available on your person; if paper is not available, write what you have just witnessed on your hand.

Remain on the scene, in a safe place, until people arrive.

Do not allow another witness or media to contaminate your memory.

Do not compare or discuss what you saw with another witness.