Is It Just Me Or Should Non-Emergency Lines Be More Stream-Lined?
This is just one of those things where I "get it" but I also don't.
Have you ever seen something that is pretty concerning but you are not 100% sure if it is 911-worthy?
I have once when I reported black smoke coming from my neighbor's fire pit. I knew what they were doing but it was affecting the air quality on our whole street and just needed someone to come check on it and possibly be ready if the blaze got out of hand.
Sure, call me a "Karen", that's the one time I'll wear that badge with pride for that one.
I called the local non-emergency line and maybe because it's a smaller department I was able to get through a lot easier.
However, just this morning I was on my way here on 127 North when I saw something extremely concerning.
On the shoulder of the right lane, I saw some oddly-shaped red "thing" that I thought was maybe a mangled up chair that had fallen off someone's truck or something.
To my utter shock that made me audibly gasp, I realized it was a person in a red sweatsuit sitting on the ground with their thumb out.
Now, by the time I processed this, I knew I couldn't stop...I'm a 24-year-old woman who can't fight for squat if something were to take a turn for the worst. We've all heard the horror stories of scams that start out something like that.
So, I did what I thought I was supposed to do in that moment and tried to get through to a non emergency line where I was led through four different, very vague prompts that were still confusing as to which one to press.
When I finally figured it out, it went straight to voicemail and I was two minutes from work.
Now the part I "get" is that a lot can be filed under a "non-emergency" and they do come right out and say if it is something that needs immediate attention to call 911; however, you would think one of your first other options would be to just speak to an actual person to report something suspicious.
Maybe someone could explain this, do they just not need people clogging up the lines for what they feel genuinely do not need attention? I'm not sure what to really think.
Maybe it really is just me. I just know it makes me wish I would have acted sooner or just called 911 or maybe just need to get more familiar with what constitutes a call to the non-emergency line.
Here are a few intersections in the Lansing area I'm sure get a lot of attention from various emergency services: