Law Enforcement

Many people rely on the police and other law enforcement to protect them from wrong doings. I haven’t had to deal with law enforcement very much at all, but from my experiences, it seems to me like police, law enforcement and dispatchers could do a better job “protecting and serving.”

A few years ago I was driving home from work after dark from Eureka to Arcata. I took 255, and when I was coming down off the first bridge and going onto the second, I saw something in the distance. As I got closer I saw that it was covering my entire side of the road, so I had to quickly move over a double line to avoid it. After I had passed it, I saw that it was a massively ridiculous amount of Bud Lite cans. There were so many Bud Lite cans in the roads that it was a hazard, and if I had not been paying attention, who knows what would have happened if I drove through them, (I have a pretty small, low-to-the-ground car.) So, realizing that this was a danger, I dialed 0 to get the Eureka police department. The operator was incredibly unfriendly, and kept asking if it was an emergency, and when I said no, she would say, “Okay well if it is, you need to hang up and dial 911.” Once it was established that I didn’t need emergency assistance, she connected me with the police department. A person in the police department went on with the same question as the operator, I again had to reiterate I didn’t need an ambulance or anything, and then he had to transfer me to someone else cause apparently he couldn’t help me for some reason. So then a woman answers the phone and again with the same emergency question as the two previous people I spoke to. So once I told her the problem, she went on to ask me where the cans were (even though I told her in my story that the cans were on the Samoa bridges.) She then said “well, there are three bridges, which one are they on?” with a very snooty, bad attitude. I was happy to tell her they actually weren’t on any of the bridges, but in between the first two headed west. I also told her that if someone went out there, the cans were vastly numerous that you’d have to be blind to miss them. She then continued with more of her snooty attitude, making me feel very stupid for even calling, making me never want to report something like that again. I feel now that I know why a lot of people have the by-stander effect. “Someone else will report it…”

One of my co-workers recently moved into an apartment, and a couple weeks later he got his car broken into and his battery and stereo were stolen. He planned on just taking the bus and getting rides from his parents until he could save up enough money to buy a newer car, since the one he has is kind of a jalopy. His dad decided he didn’t want to drive him around, so he bought him a new battery. About a week later (this past Sunday,) his battery was stolen again. Everyone at work was urging him to file a police report, but he reluctantly said, “They won’t do anything about it.” Knowing that’s probably true, it makes me feel really unsafe, especially with that kid running around making all kinds of armed robberies.

These are just a couple of instances out of many…I mean I know without the police the world would probably be a worse place, I just think more could be done.

Heather Matteri

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