Day 15: Good, Bad, Ugly, Indifferent

by pjmcbride

S.G.’S 15TH POST, 3/30/13–Holy Week: Good Friday

–Nick and another officer make a traffic stop in front of my house. Nick excitedly points out my house. The other officer rolls his eyes.



One of my first calls of the day started out with “I want to report the violation of a city ordinance.” The matter at hand turned out to be a basketball goal in the street. I obtained the location, then asked for her phone number. Her response was outrage. “Why do you need that?! Seriously?!!” I said, “Yes, ma’am, the officers do find that information useful, thank you, we’ll send a car out,” and disconnected. She promptly called back wanting to speak to my supervisor, so she could file a complaint because I’d asked for her phone number. The supervisor explained that it was indeed our procedure to request phone numbers, because officers often needed them. Right off the top of my head, I can think of reasons: What if the basketball goal was no longer in the street, but she’d seen what address the kids had gone into with it? What if the location was wrong, and we needed confirmation? Etc.

Thus deflected, the caller then said she believed that I had hung up on her. Well, I admit that I did. I had obtained all the information I was going to get from her (can you imagine how she’d have reacted if I’d asked for her name? WHICH IS ALSO SOMETHING WE’RE SUPPOSED TO ASK?). All that was left was further explication of how intolerable I’d been to ask for her phone number, and I didn’t feel like listening to it. The End.

On the other hand, another caller said I was “awesome” because the police department now does vehicle checks during the evening hours.

Do we detect a common thread in these two calls? That I hadn’t deserved either judgement? Bingo.

Oh wait, the phone’s ringing again…

“I want to report a Grand Theft Auto.” Dramatic Pause.

Well, his car was missing (actually, it was his girlfriend’s, but you know how it goes), and he’d waited an hour to report it “because I thought someone might turn up and say, ‘Hey, bro, I took your car.'” Hmm, does that happen a lot for you? Well, apparently so, because he called back to say “Turns out the guy who took my car got locked up, so I need to find out where my spare key is.” People lead interesting lives. At least he let me have his phone number.