What Have the Police Done for You?

Photo by ev on Unsplash

My girlfriend makes fun of me because I always stop at crosswalks, press the button and wait. I tell her I do that because I see people run red lights in Hartford almost every day. This morning was no exception. I took a walk to the ATM, and on the way back I watched a car run through a red light while I was crossing the street. Of course, there were no police in sight. There never are.

I keep seeing shit like, “We need police to respond to emergencies and violence!” Yet they never seem to be around when they’re needed. Or is that just a cliche? Let’s go through my history with crime, violence and the police and see if they’ve actually helped me.

  1. My first memory of the police was when they raided my apartment and took my father to prison. That led to my mother losing the apartment, so we moved to Bloomfield. Police were not helpful.
  2. My mother started receiving anonymous threats of violence that were so serious, we moved into a battered women’s shelter for several months. No one was arrested or charged. Police were not helpful.
  3. My brothers and I kept getting into fights with this kid in our neighborhood. My mother calls the police to resolve the issue. We all end up in court in a “rehabilitation” program where our records will be expunged after a year of staying out of trouble. We stay clean. After the year, we start fighting again. Police were not helpful.
  4. I joined the Bloomfield Police Explorers in the 8th grade. It was actually alot of fun, and I met several police officers I liked. I went to Explorers Summer Camp and had alot of fun there too. Police were helpful.
  5. Officer Jenny at Carmen Arace was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen up until that point. I guess that’s helpful?
  6. I was burglarized twice while living on Main Street. The first time I called the police. It took them 40 minutes to show up. When the officer got there, I told him that several electronics had been stolen from me, and that I suspected building maintenance had done it because there was no forced entry. He then proceeds to walk around the apartment, looking for signs of forced entry. I repeatedly tell him that there was no forced entry. After ten minutes of this, he gives me his card and tells me there’s not much they can do because I don’t have the serial numbers of the devices. He leaves. Police were not helpful.

    The second time, I wrote a bunch of notes asking for my stuff back and slid them under the doors of all my neighbors. I got my stuff back two days later.
  7. I’ve been assaulted twice while walking down the street in Hartford. Not a police officer in sight. Police were not helpful.
  8. I met a few police officers working through various community initiatives. They were all friendly and helpful during those meetings, and we’ve stayed friendly since. I recently went to reach out to one on LinkedIn for help on an article when I realized that he’d friended me using a burner account. I don’t know why, but I don’t like it. Not helpful.
  9. The two people that I personally know very well (as in, years of knowing and talking to them) as police officers are the absolute last people you’d want with a gun in their hands. I am not joking. They will not be helpful to you.

I would say that, on the whole, the police have been very unhelpful to me, even in moments when I reached out to them for help. So yeah, you can skip me with that “police are necessary” nonsense.

However!

I recognize that my experiences represent only one person, and that yours might be different. So I want to know: what have the police done for you?

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2 Comments to "What Have the Police Done for You?"

  1. Gene Glotzer's Gravatar Gene Glotzer
    October 21, 2020 - 12:12 am | Permalink

    It’s been a mixed bag for me. I once spun out and got stuck in a snow drift (before everyone had cell phones). A cop happened to come past and called a tow truck. That was helpful. When I got rear ended, it took the cop about forty-five minutes to arrive at the scene, and he acted like it was a waste of his time. He was decidedly unhelpful.

  2. October 21, 2020 - 7:34 am | Permalink

    They haven’t done a whole hell of a lot for me.

    When I called because my car was stolen, the officer acted very inconvenienced and bothered, and basically said I wouldn’t see it again. I don’t remember him even giving me my car. A few weeks later, it was found, by a rookie cop who I guess hadn’t burned out yet.

    These days, they come into my neighborhood almost every day to break up fights. The police don’t wear masks and stand close to residents, who are mostly not masked either. We wonder how Covid spreads. They should be sending therapists in, people who can teach folks useful skills, like how to disagree without fists and other weapons. Maybe the cops resist this so much because they would be put out of business if 99.9% of people had the tools to manage emotions in a healthier way.

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