I just talked about our justice system and I talked about how surprising it was for me to see how many young people are arrested. I think we are spending too much on the “catch and release” side of things and not enough time or energy on the “propagating” a healthy society.
On the other hand, I’m one of those people who will call authorities when I see a problem and so in a strange way I guess I’m not helping matters by relying on local police or by relying on local officials to handle problems. There seems to be a tendency amongst a lot of people to defend their work- and so let’ss say you call an officials office about a problem- often the first response you will get is a suspicious one. Or you might get a defensive response. Or you might get a cold clipped formal response that leaves you feeling like you’ve just wasted your time.
For example, if I see smoke coming from a dumpster I’m calling 911. That might not be the best way to handle a dumpster emergency! But I don’t always know the number for the local township police! Who does? That is the kind of thing that makes everything look like a criminal action. My complaints go to the people who are responsible for hauling in criminals! If I see some suspicious items on the side of the road and I want to contact authoriities who would I call?
Who would you call?
It would be nice if there were a number you could dial to report activity, or situations that require someone looking into them, but it doesn’t have to be the police!
Honestly, the police aren’t going to go out and check on every problem! Nor will the people who might actually be responsible because there aren’t any ways to control that.
I know when I call to talk to officials or authorities I get the run around sometimes. It makes me sad at heart when someone is automatically defensive. I get where they are coming from. I’m sure it must be a nuisance to be involved in your day to day affairs and suddenly have someone calling you to ask you to consider a problem you hadn’t thought you had to worry about that day. There is a natural tendency to want to deny the importance or the validity of the call but sometimes a little energy invested at the beginning of a problem saves a lot of worry later on.
Okay, so today I’m asking my readers to think about ways that we might add a “citizen service” number to our list of important numbers. I know that some states or cities already have this in operation! They might have a 311, or a 211 number that residents can call for help that isn’t an emergency- but it would be nice if that were available all over!
What do you think?