Call #1, 7:40 pm:
Me: I just arrived at my mom’s school and the brand-new mural has graffiti on it and someone threw a rock through a classroom window. The window is wide enough for someone to easily crawl through, and there is a lot of expensive stuff inside.
Dispatcher: We already know about it.
Me: Has someone checked it out? Do we know they aren’t in the building and that it is safe to go inside?
Dispatcher: Does it seem unsafe?
Dispatcher: Then don’t.
Me: But has an officer actually come to the scene?
Dispatcher: I think so.
Me: But you don’t know for sure.
Dispatcher: Give me a minute…. Yeah, it looks like he left about 2 minutes ago.
Me: Has someone notified the Principle or the school district?
Dispatcher: I don’t know.
Me: Thank you.
ANOTHER PERSON CALLS ME BACK- LESS HELPFUL THAN THE FIRST IF AT ALL POSSIBLE:
Dispatcher: We are just calling to let you know that we already knew about the incident you reported and an officer left the scene about 5 minutes ago.
Me: Has anyone notified the school so it can be fixed before people crawl in the window and steal things?
Dispatcher: They almost always notify a responsible party.
Me: Do you know if they did this time?
Dispatcher: The officer that took the report is on his lunch break, do you really want me to interrupt him to ask that?
Me: Thank you for your time.
(We decided to just call the Principal and the school district ourselves at that point)
Call #2, 8:22 p.m.
(I’ll stop the whole dialog business and just tell you what happened now)
As we decided to leave the school and go home, we noticed a car parked on the street in front of the school with its windshield wipers going (it wasn’t raining). Its windows were very heavily tinted, so at first we couldn’t tell if anyone was inside, but then a person moved and we could see them. Suddenly the wipers turned off, but the car still sat there. We decided to turn around and sit in the parking lot to see if they got out of the car or if they were waiting from someone from a nearby house. After a couple minutes, Mom used my phone to call 911 and report suspicious activity at the scene of a recent crime. We stayed for a little longer.
Suddenly the car’s headlights and wipers turned back on and then off again, as if the driver had turned the key to start the car and then changed his mind. I joked to my mom that he had probably just seen a police car pull up and decided to drive away and then changed his mind. Sure enough, seconds later a police car drives slowly by, checking things out. By now maintenance had arrived to fix the window and we decided it was time to go.
Call #3, around 3 a.m.
This call I know the least about, because Steve made it and told me about it briefly before falling asleep.
He was driving home from work, and someone egged his car. He called the police, waited for the officer to come, filed a report, and then went to wash his car. My tired husband came into our bedroom at 4:30 this morning and realized he had forgotten to collect the gas prices we needed to call in. I told him to go to bed and I put on my bathrobe and left to get the gas prices.
Close call, 4:30 a.m.
As I’m driving down the highway, I realize there is a person walking towards me, in my lane. As I get nearer I can tell he is stumbling a lot, and he is holding his arms spread eagle. I swerve around him and then I begin to wonder- Could Steve and I somehow get in trouble if our phones are used for 4 separate 911 calls that close together?
Luckily, as I pulled up to the gas station down the road (having made up my mind that I would call if he was still there on my way back in about 3 minutes), there was a police car in the parking lot, and I just drove up, rolled down my window and notified him face to face. He described the person to me correctly, and said he would go have another chat with the same young man he had just spoken with a few moments earlier.
What is your 911 call record?