Brian McLane

Media and Social Commentary

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WAITING ON 911 – EMERGENCY CALL POLICE. WHO HAS THE TIME?

July 9th, 2012 · No Comments · Social Commentary

Boy are the 61st Precinct Cops slower than slow.

There it was on the marquee of the B82 bus. EMERGENCY CALL POLICE. A crowd gathered around as a brave bus driver waited with the doors closed and a brave good Samaritan stood between him and a burly bald headed brute. Too often we hear only after the fact that a fight on a city bus or a confrontation on a train platform turns fatal. But yet I came upon the scene as dozens of people stood watch, calling police on their phones in frustration and seemingly to no avail.
Calls to the 61st Precinct went unanswered and I wasn’t about to make a call to 911 as apparently several people already had. But yet, 20 minutes after I showed up and waited to possibly assist in case further violence broke out, unbelievably the cops still hadn’t shown up.

Where are Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock when you them.

Well this wasn’t the movie “Speed” but supposedly a fight had erupted on the city bus and the driver was called racial epithets, told to go back to Africa and otherwise threatened. Yet, the tentative lull seemed to be holding as everyone anxiously waited to see if the aggressor would do anything further.

Then it occurred to me that this is perhaps one of the reasons why the crime rate in New York City is suspiciously low. I remember at the outset of Comstat which Rudy Giuliani, William Bratton and Ray Kelly lauded that this was perhaps the idea. Assaults had to reach a certain level of violence and injury for them to be considered such and be reported. Further the reductions in the police force mean that there are fewer cops available to respond to non emergencies.

The problem is that no one knows when something minor turns into a life and death situation. And there’s no statistic in the world that will matter to the loved ones of the people involved in those.

new york city bus emergency call police

Click to see what can happen when you see a new york city bus with “emergency call police” and no cops show up.

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