I received a call from a woman reporting threats and harassment with the suspect not on scene with her. It was more complicated than that, so I somehow convinced myself that it was something for which an officer needed to respond in person.
She asked how long it would take because she wanted to take a quick shower. I told her that it wouldn’t likely take all that long but she’d probably have time for that shower.
I entered the call.
The dispatcher read the call and said “hey, why can’t report takers take this over the phone?”
I think I said something like “Duh! I’ll call her back and transfer her to the report takers.”
I called her back about two minutes from the time we had hung up. The phone rang for longer than I expected and she answered the phone out of breath.
I said “Hi, is this Mrs Jones?”
She responded, “Yes, I just fell and cut myself really bad.”
I said “Do you need an ambulance?”
“Yes, yes I think I do.”
“Stay on the line, I’ll transfer you.”
Then I entered another call for the same address for this woman who had slipped when leaping from the tub to answer my phone call and fell onto a porcelain waste basket and opened up a large and deep gash on her wrist.
Although the laceration was quite bad, she did not die or even lose consciousness.
I was pretty upset. My supervisor and coworkers were very supportive, in fact they told me that it was a freak thing and I needed to just get over it.
I didn’t make her answer the phone. I did not suggest in any way that she not follow all appropriate safety measures when leaving a bathtub. I never suggested she buy a breakable and extremely sharp-when-broken bathroom accessory. She caused this accident herself yet I feel badly about the whole circumstances surrounding the injury.
One moment in time changed everything. She told the paramedic dispatcher "I should have just let the phone ring." I have an idea what this woman does for a living and this is going to impair that skill for a least a little while.
For dog's sake, she should have bought a Rubbermaid garbage can. So many little things. I guess of all the people who could have been calling, I was the one who could get her the help she needed the quickest. There's little comfort in that.
At 8 o'clock in the morning a very stupid 21 year old guy stole a very identifiable one ton pickup truck which had been left idling with the keys in it outside a local business. It was reported immediately and therefore cops from two shifts were in a position to be looking. When the first officers spotted him, the very stupid guy rammed four civilian cars and two police cars. Officers fired shots at the vehicle but did not hit it.
The very stupid guy, now not only a felony suspect but a seriously dangerous felony suspect drove across a hard median and through the opposite lanes of traffic in order to turn onto another major road. Several blocks later he crested a hill at approximately 80 miles per hour, ran a red light, and t-boned a sedan crossing the road.
The driver of the sedan, a 35 year old father of three children and husband of a loving wife, was killed instantly.
In the blink of an eye.
This guy was just responding to a green light, probably headed for work. It's doubtful he had any idea what had happened. One minute he was driving, the next he was gone, his wife a widow and his children fatherless.
Oh yeah, the very stupid now murderer bailed and ran on foot. Before very long a police K9 unit found him in a nearby neighborhood.
I wonder what to make of both of these things. I don't hold any religious beliefs but I can see where it would certainly help to think that the serious senseless bodily injury of one and the senseless death of another were all part of a necessary cosmic plan.
Instead I think of chance and happenstance and luck and serendipity and I want to tell everyone I know how much they individually mean to me. I want to hug my wife and never let her go. I want to tell all of you to do the same things: never let your friends or loved ones leave without telling them how you feel. I don't want the last words I say to any of you to be "don't forget the fat free cottage cheese."
I want to close my eyes to the world so I don't have to see, to know.