Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Number, Please *

In our line of work we place telephone calls to police agencies frequently.  In virtually every one of these calls, an automated system answers.  These systems typically ask us to enter an extension number if we know it, or offer choices that can be made by entering a number.  It’s just like calling most any business or organization these days.

Except the first choice is always about a police emergency, something you won’t encounter at other businesses or organizations.   “If this is an emergency,” a typical greeting will say, “hang up and dial 9-1-1.”

But there is one municipal police department that we call from time to time that does it differently.  Instead of inviting callers to hang up and re-dial, this agency’s greeting says “if this is an emergency, dial Zero now.”

This strikes us as a better way.  If the emergency situation is one where seconds count, such as serious injury or imminent danger, a quick push on the zero key will be faster than having to hang up, re-dial, and re-connect.  We are surprised that so few agencies do it this way.

* If you don't understand why "Number, Please" is the title of this post, it's only because you are young.  "Number, Please" is what a telephone operator would say to you when you had to speak to an operator to place any phone call.  You'll see evidence of this in old movies, where a person will pick up a two-piece phone and bark into the handset, "Get me the police!"

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's in a Name?

 The lead sentence of the news item was as follows:

The driver of a Dodge Ram pickup rammed two police cruisers and attempted to run down a third officer during a pursuit Sunday evening that ended with the suspect in custody.

Not to make light of the seriousness of a heavy pickup striking a police car or an individual, but yes, the Ram rammed.

Is “Ram” a good name for a motor vehicle?

And perhaps the reason that the trucks are now being marketed under the Ram brand name only is that “Dodge Ram” was a contradiction in terms.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Ken She Park Here?

According to a story reported by several sources, a police officer in American Fork, Utah (about 30 miles south of Salt Lake City), was patrolling a neighborhood when he noticed a hot-pink Fisher-Price Barbie Jeep in the road, blocking a driveway.

As a lighthearted way to remind residents that the police were in their neighborhood and looking out for them and their property, the officer put a bright orange abandoned vehicle tag on the toy Jeep and moved it out of the road.  The citation was made out to "Barbie."

The rightful owner of the vehicle is not Barbie, but 7-year-old Autumn.  Autumn’s father was quoted as saying, "Unfortunately, I have received my share of tickets... This is definitely my favorite ticket."  Autumn now knows to keep her Jeep parked in the garage.