Wednesday, March 7, 2007

One of our neighbors distributed fliers about his recent break-in. He had left his car unlocked in his driveway giving the burglar access to the garage door opener and ultimately his house. The burglar took a computer, some money and credit cards from his wife's purse. I appreciate being made aware of this situation and found his safety tips a valuable reminder of things we can do to stay safe. What gets my goat though is a comment he made, "the police showed up minutes later, drove around, filled out a report and left. (We have not heard from them since, not even a follow-up phone call)."

Let me explain how this works, a person calls the police, police show up, police take a report, police leave. Now repeat this about 15 times in an 8 hour shift, 3 shifts a day, 7 days a week with an average of 3 to 5 officers on each shift. The police are reactive. They respond to your calls and if they catch the bad guy they arrest him along with all the other bad guys they catch in the act of committing a crime that has yet to be discovered by the victim. Frankly I do not want my tax dollars used on follow-up calls, "hello, Mrs. ____, today we looked for the bad guy who took your stuff but we didn't find him." The report number is given to the victim so that they can follow-up on their time and their dime.

In my more naive years I often found myself asking my husband, a law enforcement officer, what happened to a particular victim. "Honey, what happened to the guy you found the other day who had been passed out in his stifling hot house for 3 days?" Or, "How is the guy on the motorcycle who crashed into the tow truck?" His answer was always, "I don't know." I did not understand how he could go on without finding out what had become of these people, victims and criminals alike. It finally occurred to me that he didn't know not because he didn't care but rather because if he followed-up on everything he would spend every waking moment doing so.

So, Mr. Neighbor who wonders why the police never followed up with him: I want you to know that the police do care about what happened to you but they have moved on and are responding to other people they also care about. I am growing tired of people's opinion that "the cops don't care." I assure you they do. But what do you want them to do? How do you expect them to find someone who took your stuff when you have no description of the guy? And, if you think you know who took your stuff and you lead the police to his house how do you think they should retrieve your stolen stuff? Thanks to all the bleeding heart liberals out there the police can't do much of anything as the criminal has the same rights, if not more than the victim.

And now I must end this and step down off my soap box. One, because I could go on forever an ever and two because it is time for Skyline and I am starving.


Crystal said...

I think more often than not people open their mouths before they think about what they're gonna say. Anyone,if they used their brain, could figure out why they haven't called. I hope you explained it to him, or did you bite your tounge?

Kate The Great said...

Actually, I don't know who he is. Just have the flyer he left on everyone's porch. I think I don't want to know who he is so that I won't say something I shouldnt, ya know what I mean...