Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oakland 911

“Yes, please help me, a pit bull is eating my poodle.”
“Sir, you don’t really think this is a ‘police emergency’ do you?”
“Oh my God! He’s finished my poodle and is attacking the neighbor’s Labrador.”
“Sir, maybe you should call animal control or your neighborhood watch captain.”
“Please, just do something. What’s the animal control number?”
“Sir, this is 911, not 411. Click.”

“Hello, you’ve reached the City of Oakland’s animal control. We are unable to take your call at this time; if you need immediate assistance call the Oakland Police Department’s non-emergency number or you may leave a message after the sound of the beep. Beep. The voice mailbox you are trying to access is currently full. Click.”

“You have reached the Oakland Police Department’s non-emergency number all our operators are currently busy with other calls please stay on the line and your call will be answered in the order received. The current wait time is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes.”

“Hello, you have reached the Oakland City Council.”
“There’s a marauding pit bull headed to a pre-school.”
“You know, we get so many calls about dogs and let me assure you that the councilperson strongly supports dogs and their owners. Let me suggest that you go to our website where you can see pictures of the councilperson and dogs and you can read about all that this district has done for dogs.”

“No! I need help, someone might get hurt.”
“Oh, I’m sorry we get so many calls about crime, there’s nothing we can do at this time. We did successfully pass Measures B and S and the new funding should be available in 2020.”

“No, my neighborhood is being terrorized by a marauding pit bull.”
“Well, I can advise you to join your neighborhood watch and get organized. If you can bring lots of people to meetings where the councilperson can talk about all they have done for your community, we might be able to help you more.”
“Please I just need one police officer.”
“Sir, this is a nuisance crime, if you give me your name and address I will send you a helpful brochure about policing yourself, home safety tips and 25 reasons to elect Jerry Brown as California Attorney General.”

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