Wednesday, March 01, 2006

911 Ain't a Joke

I called the police today for the first time in my life.

Nothing bad going on at home, just FYI. But here's the story:

Jack and I were heading home from my OB visit today (I'm 19 weeks and have gained just 3 lbs. - the doctor seemed pleased - with Jack at this point I had gained 10; running after a toddler has an effect, I guess, but I digress). Anyway, since we still had a little while before lunch and, more importantly, before a diaper change, I told Jack we'd run to the park for a little while because he was so good while Momma was at the doctor.

Jack played for about 15 minutes or so and got a little bored - diaper change was rolling around so I promised Jack we would play outside when we got home. This seemed A-OK with the little man, so we headed toward the car.

After I loaded Jack up, I noticed the car next to me. All the windows were open, and in the back was a sleeping 1-year-old in her car seat. I did a double-take, and then looked around. The closest adults, who may or may not have been the parents, were quite a few yards away (I'm not good at estimating distance, so that's the best I can do on this tale, folks). I slowly walked to the driver's side of my car to see if someone would come to the car- no mom or dad-like figure approaching.

So, I get in the car, and think: "What do I do? Do I assume the folks at the picnic table are the parents, keeping vigilant watch on their daughter in the easily-accessible car? Do I assume that the "responsible" adult(s) are not to be found, and call the police?". I've never seen a child that young left alone, sleeping, in a car on an unusually warm (somewhere around 70-75 degrees at noon today) early March day.

So, whenever I need someone to tell me if I'm going overboard or not, I call my dear husband. As I drive home, I tell him what's going on, and he says "What?". I then ask "Do you think I should call the police?". He says yes, so I assume I'm not overreacting and make the call, not to 911 but just the general number for our local police department. The dispatcher takes the information down and just says OK. So I assume the sent a police officer down to check it out - I doubt flashing lights were involved. The dispatcher seemed pretty laid back for flashing lights and sirens.

Did I overreact?


Anonymous Jamie said...

I think you definitely did the right thing. I always run things by Alan if I think I'm overreacting, too!

3/02/2006 6:08 AM  
Blogger texasinafrica said...

No, you definitely did not overreact. I've done the same thing and was glad I did - no infant should be left alone like that. It's scary, though, isn't it?

3/02/2006 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

You didn't overreact. I would have done the same. I called the police from my cell while driving because I noticed a female driver in the next lane driving with a toddler in her lap! Someone has to watch out for other kids if their own parents won't!

3/02/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger TN Miksch's said...

OMG, you definately did the right thing. I don't know why someone in their right mind would leave their child un-attended in a car and on top of it, on a warm day!! You did the right thing, and it is a major let down that the dispatcher you spoke with didn't seem more excited. There should have been lights and sirens!!!

3/02/2006 10:40 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Thanks for backing me up, ladies. I was tempted to cruise back by the park to see if anything happened, but decided to trust our local police force. It's a small town, so I am sure this added some excitement to an officer's day.

I'm hoping the dispatcher is just trained to be calm with everyone (I've never called the police before, so don't know what's normal). Maybe he's the same with if you call and say a clown with an axe is chasing you down the street, I don't know.

3/03/2006 12:35 AM  

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