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...


  1. Classic example of Government efficiency and productivity.

  2. I would say that's outrageous but I would not expect any sense of urgency from the government...I've heard other stories like this and even had a similar experience this past summer and always the same they are busy. I remember when the detectives showed up they were saying hello to each other and catching up first. The one thing they are never to busy to do though is give a speeding ticket. I'm sure someone is in more need of police assistance than getting a $100+ ticket.

  3. Geez 35 minutes? When my house was broken into, I had to wait 2 hours for a Sheriff to arrive.

    I told him I went to check out the scene and he lectured me on how dangerous it could have been because the invaders could have still been inside. When I told him that I waited an hour and a half, he shut up.

  4. Please see Warren vs. District of Columbia. This should be understood by all and has been established for some time and little know about it.

    If you have a family, you are responsible for them. I would advise not to rely on the police to do it. In their defense, they are spread thin due to budget cuts because we are told the municipalities, counties, state, and feds have no money to pay them. I'm not buying.

  5. Yes, I am responsible for my family. No, the police are not spread thin due to budget cuts. THey are spread thin because of government inefficiency. The departtments operate with the same not-for-profit mindset as the post office, FEMA, The Deparment of Housing & Urban Development and all the rest. With no incentives or competition - and with huge portions of my tax dollars tied up in bloated pensions rather than actual law enforcement, there is no reason to expect them to show up in under 35 minutes.

  6. My comment was meant to read more as general commentary and not directed at you. My intent was for your readers to investigate Warren vs. D.C. I believe you have written in the past about other cases that reinforce the same precedent set by Warren vs. D.C. After reading my comment again, I failed to present it as such. In no way did I mean to infer that you were not acting responsibly for you and your family. I apologize for that.

    You also clarified the point I tried to make of the poor excuse of police being spread thin due to budget cuts. You correctly identified the cause as being government inefficiency.

    Thank you for the blogs. I always enjoy them.

  7. No apology necessary. I understood where you were coming from. I just wanted to make it clear that when the police beg for more money, there is no evidence that money makes them do their job better.