Thursday, February 5, 2009

VRU Death

When I drive home from work, I usually get off the highway at a small road that takes me the back way home. I have to go this way, because the regional planning commission is trying to upgrade the country highway to a freeway, so they closed off the left turn onto my road a couple of years ago. It adds about mile to my commute, but it's all in the name of progress, I suppose.

Each night this week, I've noticed a dark SUV sitting in the little gravel patch that many people use as a turnaround. On Monday, I figured that someone had parked there to do some work on a fence or something, so I paid it no mind. On Tuesday, I thought that it was odd that the vehicle was there for a second day. On Wednesday, I worked much later than usual, so I was on the road well after sunset, and the vehicle was still sitting in the same spot.

I got home and decided to call our local sheriff substation so they could take a look at it if they wanted. Small Town straddles the border or two counties, and our law enforcement is handled by the Sheriff of the county with the smaller population. I called the substation, and a pleasant deputy or dispatcher answered on the second ring. I introduced myself and explained the situation. He listened, then advised me that the intersection in question was just a little bit into Capital City's jurisdiction, but he'd be happy to transfer me there.

"[crackle] You have reached Capital City Police Department. If this is an emergency, please hang up and dial 9-1-1. If you know your party's extension, please press 1. To reach a specific department, please press 2. To find out about jobs in our department, please press 3. To leave a message for the public outreach director, please press 4."


"To speak to the auto impound department, please press 1. To speak to a detective about an ongoing investigation, please press 2. To speak to internal affairs, please press 3. To have an officer dispatched to your location, please press 4. To repeat this menu, please press 5."


"I'm sorry. I didn't hear your response."

GPop called from the other room, "Dinner's ready!"



Bill said...

If you ever get an actual breathing person on the line in Capital City's Law Enforcement Office, you might suggest a VRU prompt for suspicious SUV's. It just seems weird that they don't already have that in place.

Jonathan said...

"To have an officer dispatched to your location, please press 4."

Really? You can order a copy through their automated menu? Wow -- easier than ordering pizza.

Jonathan said...

Make that "cop," not "copy."

Methinks I copy too much.