911 is a joke

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"What's your address?" The operator wanted to know. Police procedure. Well, the operator already had it on his computer screen. I knew enough to say here it is but don't come knocking on my door because I don't want my neighbors to come attack me. If you knock, I won't answer. "Yes, yes," the dispatcher said, "But what do they look like exactly? Can you see?"

Just get over here, said I, there is no way I'm going outside to look.

Now, the policeman I was raised to loath would have cruised into my parking lot, slammed both neighborhood fools into his patrol car for a sobering night in jail. Maybe he'd get a little rough. Satisfying rough. Sipowitz rough. Nobody - including me - would watch from the windows when he did this, we'd just shiver and roll over. Screaming gone, but the fear would linger.

Obviously, that policeman is not the solution to domestic problems and the larger problems of neighborhood crime control. But neither is the guy who came knocking on my door at 4:30 a.m., shining his flashlight into my windows like a big dope. He finally found the amateur WWF smackdown going on next door on his own. If he lectured the pair, it was brief. As he pulled away, I heard the guy next door shout something about a warning as his woman stomped back up the stairs and shut the door. Apparently she had cleaned up. There was no mention of blood. I did not get back to sleep.
This is not a solution.

I rose the next day and drove to work looking like the couple next door: exhausted and depressed. I could not shake the sour aftertaste of that morning. The batterers' disorder, whatever it was that compelled him to attack, was in my system. I was sick with it all day - headache, stomach ache, nausea.

Yes, and I blame the police. I blame them for disregarding my call and for not minding the details. The quality of my life, and those of so many others, is not about big protests or marches or riots. I care about those events, but they do not prevent precious sleep and leave me praying for relief at 4 a.m. Life is about making it through the everyday, and thanks to the police, my everyday just got a whole lot harder.

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911 is a joke

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