911, How Can We Ignore You?

, , , , , | | Legal | June 16, 2018

(I come home from work at night to find a group of teenagers standing in the middle of the parking lot of my apartment doing drugs. Being a young woman with a small build, I feel immediately uncomfortable having to walk by these boys by myself at night. As I circle around to find a parking space, the boys keep glaring at me and approaching my car menacingly. I finally find a parking space on the opposite side of the lot, but still feel uncomfortable walking to my apartment alone. I call the police to see if they can come out to assess the situation.)

911 Dispatcher: “911. What is your emergency?”

(I go through the process of giving my address, stating that I need police, etc. I finally get on the line with a police dispatcher.)

Police Dispatcher: “What is your emergency?”

Me: “There is a group of teenagers doing drugs in the middle of the parking lot of my apartment.”

Police Dispatcher: “Can you describe anything about the vehicle they’re in?”

Me: “Um, they aren’t in a vehicle. They’re standing around the parking lot.”

Police Dispatcher: “Well, are they standing near a car? Can you describe it at all?”

Me: “I mean the boys are talking to another boy who is sitting with the door open out of a car, the rest are standing in the middle of the parking lot. I didn’t get a good look at the car because they started to approach me as I drove by them.”

Police Dispatcher: “So you can’t give me any descriptions?”

Me: “I mean, I can describe the boys. There are four of them, they are [race] and seem around [age range]. They are all wearing backwards ball caps and baggy shirts, and they are smoking joints and passing small pills between them.”

Police Dispatcher: “But you can’t describe the vehicle at all?”

Me: “There is no vehicle involved! One boy is sitting in his car talking to these guys, but the ones I’m having a problem with are literally walking around the parking lot. From the two seconds I looked at the car, while they were approaching my car, I saw that it was a small car, probably a sedan, in maybe silver or grey. But again, that has nothing to do with my call. I’m calling about the four boys walking around the parking lot doing drugs and hassling me. You can’t miss them! Look, I’m sitting in my car on the other side of the parking lot because they keep glaring at me and I don’t feel comfortable walking to my apartment alone in the dark with these boys here. Could you please send someone out to help me?”

Police Dispatcher: “I’ll try to send someone out to take a look.”

Me: “Thank you.” *click*

(I sat in my car for almost an hour until the boys finally decided to go inside an apartment opposite mine. No one ever came to help me. I called later to ask if something big had happened that prevented someone from coming out to help me. After finding the report the previous dispatcher made about my call, the operator told me a note had been made that the caller was “unable to give a full description of the other vehicle involved” and the call was deemed a low priority. I filed a formal complaint. I’ve always been the biggest supporter of the police department, still am, but I was furious that day at how my safety was completely disregarded by a jaded 911 operator.)

It’s A D’oh!

, , , , | | Legal | June 14, 2018

(I think my mother’s car has some sort of psychic connection with animals, because my mom quite often has run-ins with deer in our area. She’s already had an accident on her way to work once, so sometime later, she is driving to work really early in the morning, when the street is practically deserted, and is going below the speed limit on a 40 mph road. I don’t know how slow she is going, but she is apparently going slow enough to catch the attention of a policeman. The guy asks for her license and says:)

Officer: “Ma’am, are you aware that you are driving under the speed limit?”

Mom: “Yes, officer, because I don’t want to get hit again.”

Officer: “Pardon?”

Mom: “I recently got into an accident with a deer in this street. I really don’t want to get into another one.”

Officer: “Ma’am, I’ve patrolled this street hundreds of times before, and I’ve never seen a single deer. I think you can go the speed limit.”

Mom: “Then, sir, would you be so kind to look ahead of us real quick?”

(My mom points up ahead of the street and, lo and behold, there’s a doe not twenty feet away, just staring at them.)

Officer: *hands Mom her ID back* “Have a nice day, ma’am.”

Revenge Is A Dish Best Served In Secret

, , | | Legal | June 13, 2018

(We have been called out to a residence who has had the front of their garden driven through by a car. It seems the driver swerved to avoid an oncoming vehicle and lost control. He has already offered to pay for the damages. I am taking a statement from the homeowner.)

Homeowner: “I need to get revenge somehow!”

Me: “For what reason?”

Homeowner: “He destroyed my garden!”

Me: “You believe the damage was intentional?”

Homeowner: “Of course not, but I still need to get revenge.”

(She thinks in silence for a few moments.)

Homeowner: “How about setting fire to his house?”

Me: “…”

Homeowner: “Would that be good?”

Me: “I don’t think you should be discussing this with me.”

Homeowner: “Why not!”

Me: “I’m a police officer!”

(I mentioned it to my superior and we agreed to monitor her in case she tried to act. Thankfully she didn’t, and the damage was fixed at the driver’s expense, without any trouble.)

Nine-One-Dum

, , , , , | | Legal | June 12, 2018

(I work as a dispatcher for a police department in the DFW area, and I also take 911 calls. It is a well-known “rule” in dispatch that the person with the least amount of information is the one who calls 911.)

Me: “[City] 911; what is the address of your emergency?”

Caller: “I’ve just been in a car accident! Please send help immediately!”

Me: “Is anyone injured?”

Caller: “No, but my car won’t start!”

Me: “Okay, ma’am, I’m going to send an officer to assist you. Please tell me where you are.”

Caller: “Um… I don’t know. I’m on a street in [City].”

Me: “Yes, ma’am, I know. But which street?”

Caller: “Uh… I think it’s [Street]. Yeah, I’m on [Street].”

Me: “[Street] and what cross street?”

Caller: “Yeah, at the cross street!”

(That street is five miles long and has dozens of intersections!)

The Lazy Arm Of The Law

, , , , , | | Legal | May 27, 2018

(While we are filing our 2016 income tax returns, our accountant discovers that someone stole my Social Security Number and attempted to file this return. It is one of the rare times I am glad we were not expecting a tax refund. Our accountant suggests we complete the following three steps. One, file an identity theft alert with the Internal Revenue Service; two, sign up for fraud and theft alert with the three national credit monitoring companies; and three, file a police report. Steps #1 and #2 are easily completed; then, we have this experience with Step #3:)

Police Officer: “Hello, you have reached the non-emergency phone number. What is your concern or problem?”

Me: “We’ve just found out that someone tried to file a tax return under my SSN, and our accountant suggested we file a police report.”

Police Officer: *long sigh* “Well, you can just call 911 and request a police officer to do it at your home.”

Me: “I just want to make sure I heard correctly. You’re suggesting I call 911 to file this identity-theft claim? But I though 911 was just for emergencies.”

Police Officer: “Yes, it is for emergencies. If you felt this concern was an emergency, this is a quicker way to file this type of police report.”

Me: “No, it is not an emergency; my wallet and purse were not stolen. Someone tried to fraudulently file a tax return with my SSN.”

Police Officer: *another sigh* “Okay, ma’am. You and your husband can come to the police station and file your report there.”

(Somehow, I am not comforted that my local tax dollars would be used to cover the 911 expenses of filing a non-emergency police report!)

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