Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Call 911....then wait 35 minutes....

This afternoon I was in my home when I happened to look out of my window and see a young teenaged girl walking along the side of my house. I hurried outside and found her barefoot and crying. When I asked her what was wrong she told me that she had been beaten by a relative at her home. I asked her if she wanted me to call the police and she said yes.

While she was in my house being consoled by my wife I dialed 911 and reported what had happened. The 15-year old girl told the dispatcher where the incident took place and I gave the authorities my address. 10 minutes went by and no one appeared.

I saw a police officer drive by, attempted to wave him down only to have him go on by.

I called 911 again to find out what was going on. They had not processed the last call yet but said that it would be soon.

Another officer went by. Again, I stood in my driveway, waving my arms. No response.

I called the non-emergency number for our local police department. I got a recording telling me to call the county. I did. The county gave me many options, none of which included talking to a human being.

After 30 minutes I drove the one-tenth of a mile that I live from my town's police department (I can actually see the department from my driveway..) No one was in the police department and the door was locked. A phone with instructions to dial 911 was on the outside of the building.

I dialed 911 for the third time and was told that the last calls were in the system, it was a busy day for the police and someone would arrive soon.

I drove home and after more than 35 minutes an officer finally appeared, told me he had been given the wrong address and then, finally, proceeded to assist this girl who had to wait more than a half hour for the government to do its job in a manner that our taxes call for.

Thank God she was not in my yard bleeding from a gunshot wound...