It’s been a rough weekend in my little corner of Northwest Pasadena, what with Pasadena Police Department officers showing up on my doorstep and insisting that they enter.
First they showed up a 4:00 am on Saturday morning, saying that they were responding to a 911 call. We told them we did not make a 911 call. They told us the number from which the call was made. I recognized the number as the line that goes out to the garage (a relic from the old ‘office in the garage’ idea). Currently, there is no phone hooked up to that line.
Apparently, the line is shorting out and somehow sending a 911 call to the police.
So they just showed up for a second time, insisting that someone made a 911 call and they had to come inside to make sure ‘everyone is okay.’
“We didn’t make a 911 call,” I said.
“That’s not our concern,” they said, “We are responding to a 911 call.”
I explained how the phone line is shorting out, how I called the PPD yesterday to let them know that the line is sending out false 911 calls. Apparently, that doesn’t matter. A 911 call is a 911 call and protocol will be followed.
I told the officers I would be happy to talk to them on my front porch, but that was not an option. Some 15 years ago, someone was held against her/his will and a 911 call was made. The response to the call was botched and the person got killed. That’s why the protocol is the way it is.
So folks, now you know what will happen if you call 911. Or if they think you called 911 but you didn’t.
I must confess I am an unpleasant citizen during these encounters. Maybe it’s the fact that it is Sunday morning and I’m reading my New York Times wearing a t-shirt and a blanket. Do not approach a braless WCGB unless you’ve been given permission.
The Scout is a much nicer person respects authority. I think he even went outside to explain to them that I am not criminally insane, what with my avoiding eye contact and barking and all.
The 4 am episode early Saturday morning was even worse. I was asleep on the couch and didn’t hear the first knocks. The Scout answered the door. The officers insisted that a 911 call had been made and that they needed to “inspect the telephone.” This made no sense to The Scout. He didn’t want to let them in, but they were insistent.
I woke up to the officers waving their flashlights about the place. In my post-Merlot daze, I heard myself yell “AFUERA!” and point to the door. Only later did I realize that some part of me perceived that they were Latino and young, and I pulled an “I am your elder and you won’t tell me what to do” on them, (despite my lame Spanglish; all nouns and prepositions, few verbs). They slunk (did I imagine it?) to the front door and left. En serio, this is embarrassing.
But what have we learned from the movies? We have learned that you never let anyone in the house. Never. Anyone. Ever. I don’t care if they have uniforms, guns, badges and flashlights. I didn’t make a 911 call so how do I know the whole thing isn’t a big scam?
That’s ‘middle of the night’ thinking, I know. But I really didn’t know the rules pertaining to 911 calls until now.