Wednesday, September 3, 2014

An Alert and Involved Citizenry - The Key to Crime Control

Regular readers of this Blog may recall our August Attaboy Award to Milwaukee, WI Sheriff David A. Clarke, a promoter of a closer relationship between an armed community and law enforcement. One of the problems pointed out by Sheriff Clarke were the delays associated with alarm reporting and 911 call processing.  Over the Labor Day weekend, I experienced a good example.

Our office has a back parking lot accessible only by a single car width drive between the building and a fence on the neighboring property.  The general public would be mostly unaware that there is a back parking area.  In the past, local teenagers discovered it was a great place to learn to know each other a little better. I put an end to that my making surprise visits, blocked the driveway, draped a 12 gauge pump over my arm and suggested they would do well to find an alternate meeting place.  Since I am getting older, I might confuse them with being a threat to my well being, in such an event, I could be a threat to their well being.  We haven't had any problems for a long time.

We still have an occasional visitor looking for things outside they might steal and would be burglars will sometimes send a scout to determine accessibility.  Generally, these scouts are young females.  This was the case on Monday afternoon. When I saw a car in the back, I blocked the driveway and walked to the front of the building to call 911 since I was not armed at the time. What followed was absolutely unbelievable!

When the 911 operator answered, I told her the reason for my call was to report a possible robbery in process.  For the better part of five minutes, I was subjected to a series of questions (mostly for purposes of administrative protocol and litigation avoidance).  In the meantime, the "visitor" walked out and asked me if was my car that was blocking her in (I was still on the line with the 911 operator while this was going on). The 911 operator hung up - no call back, no officer dispatched - NOTHING!

My visitor was a young black female dressed in medical scrubs.  She told me that she was late for work and needed a place to quickly change clothes. You would believe that wouldn't you? Under the circumstances, I had two choices (a) check out the car for an accomplice (not a real good idea) or (b) let her go.  I chose (b) for reasons of personal safety and the hope that the event would discourage return.  As for 911, they have their place, but NOT in real emergencies involving criminal activity.  That is why we have developed the SafeCity program.  If you would like to know how this program can benefit your community, give us a call at 800.489.2611. Better yet, click here for a short video and instant appointment scheduler.