Wednesday, October 14, 2009

On Calling the Police

A blood-curdling scream late at night. Then another. Horrific shrieking directly across the street. The young woman who lives there running about her apartment, telling someone to "Get out get out get out."

That's a no-brainer. Pick up the phone, make the call. The screaming went on for several minutes. She then said something about "coming at me with a hammer."

In minutes, three city police cars arrive. Surprisingly, the screaming continues -- she is now yelling and swearing at the policemen. Things go from terrible to worse. They decide to arrest her, she resists, ends up on the ground screaming as before, until she is put into a squad car and taken away. The woman whose life we thought we might be saving.

Sarah checked on Gabriel and then said, "We call the police a lot."

It's true.

For seven years, I lived in Los Angeles. For a few of those years, I worked in one of the most feared neighborhoods in America. Yet I can only recall phoning the LAPD twice:

  • Once, to report gunshots in Silverlake, only to be assured by the dispatcher that it was from a film shoot nearby and the gunfire wasn't real.

  • The other time, because I got held up at gunpoint. That seemed worth a call.

We have lived in Deming for a year and a half, and my wife or I have made the decision to call the police several times.

We've had to call animal control because of dogs that roam the streets loose and have charged at us; once coming all the way onto our porch.

We've had to make noise complaints about a neighbor who plays her S.U.V.'s stereo with the bass so loud our house shakes and the windows rattle. It's woken Gabriel up.

And then there is the atmosphere of violence and evident drug use going on across the street.

In Los Angeles, I didn't have a son. He is getting bigger, stronger, and loves to be outside.

So there is another decision to make, and my wife and I made it yesterday with the welfare of our son in mind: we are moving.


Andrew said...

Back to L.A. where it's safe?

Pam said...

Wow! Sounds like a scary neighborhood! Where are you moving?

When kids are involved it makes a difference!!

Kelly said...

Sounds sensible. Kind of ironic, though...

Things always look different when your child's safety is involved.

Algernon said...

Not leaving the Deming area, just the neighborhood. It might be at the end of our lease; it might be sooner.

Ji Hyang said...

Good call.

Nathan said...

Good luck with the move.

quid said...

I hope you find a better place for your family, Alg.