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Dear PoPville – At What Point Do I Call the Police?


Photo by PoPville flickr user slightlyworn

Dear PoPville,

When do you/the readers call the police on neighborhood activity, and when do you just chalk it up to living in a “transitional” neighborhood? I’ve lived in my house for about five years, and have heard loud arguments/hooliganism/crazy people on my corner almost weekly. Tonight started with a heated and prolonged domestic dispute. I looked out of the window when it sounded like the woman was being hit, and while I couldn’t see that couple, I did see two (unrelated?) men come bolting out of an alley, then stop in the street and hurl rocks at someone/something on the other side. I’m hesitant to bother the police unless someone’s clearly being hurt, but erred on the side of caution and called 911.

The dispatcher was appreciative and two squad cars arrived in under 10 minutes…which is probably a reasonable response rate, but long enough that everyone had disappeared. I felt a little silly for having wasted their time. Do you think the police appreciate this kind of heads up, or is it better to just let it work itself out? I don’t believe anything has escalated to shootings/stabbings/extensive property damage, so maybe I’m just overreacting?

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