Friday, February 24, 2012

Call 9-1-1

A long time ago I called 9-1-1 to report a crises in progress, namely a violent, drunken woman who was outside my home and trying to get inside and make my life miserable.  Or something.  The woman in question was an ex-migraine who hadn't quite fully accepted her new role.  I have no patience with drunks, especially violent drunks, but I knew an entire department of upstanding men and women who did - and I'm not talking about grade school teachers.  The Sylvania Township Police have all the patience in the world, plus they are unfailingly kind, helpful, thrifty, goodnatured, witty and experienced.  They know how to deal with drunks.  So I called nine one one and explained the situation to the helpful voice on the other end of the line, requesting a car for one along with reservations for a room with a view.  Then I sat back and waited.

45 minutes later the phone rang.  It was the Sylvania Township Police department.  They couldn't find my house.  No, I'm not making this up, but I wasn't all that surprised either.  My home is difficult to find and the police haven't been out here in many, many years.  The thing is, a lot can happen in 45 minutes.

In this case the violent migraine in question had already cursed me into oblivion and worn herself out trying to scramble my brains with a improvised shillelagh.  She packed up and left, and the whole business took about 15 minutes, during which time I wondered just when I was going to see the fancy car with the characteristic bubble gun machine on top and the easy to read logo on the side.

Two police officers whose blogs I read fairly regularly have addressed this situation, and their comments are well worth reading.  I recommend everyone read these two essays and put these officers recommendations into practice.

The P.O.P. Factor - The Magic of 911
In plain English, it's not some magic number you can call and expect an instantaneous response. The police have no duty to protect you 24/7 and it is unreasonable to expect that the police will be there immediately after you call 911, most especially when you call from a cell phone.
Officer "Smith": Thoughts From Behind the Badge - HELP! POLICE!
I'm going to say something here that is going to raise some hackles. Then I'm going to explain my statements and, hopefully, make everyone buy it. Here we go. Ready?
In my situation the police arrived after I gave them directions.  The officer was friendly and apologetic for not finding the house, but I reassured him that it happens all the time and the crises was long gone.  Moreover, I wasn't unhappy and I didn't blame him a bit.  I offered him coffee which he declined, then we shook hands and he left, reassuring me that now the police knew where the house was.

I like the Sylvania Township police and I've always had good experience with their officers.  All that being the case, the revolver in the nightstand next to my bed is loaded.

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