Thursday, July 05, 2007

Crime Takes a Vacation

by Joyce Tremel

I'm not sure what's happening in other jurisdictions, but in Shaler Township crime is taking a vacation. Our calls are down by about 3000 from last year at this time. Part of the reason could be that the Lt. ordered the guys to quit writing down every chicken shit thing they do. They were writing reports on every single phone call, even if someone just called to ask a stupid question. The officers make all the bank deposits for the township office (why they can't do it is beyond me), so they'd write a report that said, "Made bank deposit." They also deliver all the mail from the township office to our seven township commissioners, so they'd write seven reports saying, "Delivered mail to Commissioner So and So." Thank goodness the Lt. put a stop to that! Now if I could only get him to tell the guys to quit writing citations, I'd be really happy.

In general though, our calls do go down in the summer. I'm not sure why. If I was a criminal, I'd much rather be out and about in the warm weather. Two complaints that do go up in the summer are juvenile complaints and neighbor disputes.

The kids cause all kinds of mischief this time of year. Some people call if they just SEE a teenager walking down the street. He doesn't have to be doing anything. His mere existence is cause for alarm for some people (usually the neighborhood busybody who has nothing else to do). The guys check it out anyway.

Neighbor disputes go up in the summer because people actually have to see their neighbors. One dispute has been ongoing for months. Two neighbors have been arguing over their property line. One guy keeps dumping stuff on the other's property. The property owner finally had his lot surveyed and staked. That should have been the end of the dispute--the property was clearly marked. Instead, the guy who was dumping pulled out the stakes. They are now going to court.

All these neighbor disputes will carry over into the fall, when people complain about leaves blowing onto their property from their neighbor's trees. So far, there's been no physical violence over any of this. Yet.


Tory said...

I guess when there's nothing that exciting going on in your life, that's when you read fiction!

Joyce said...

Or write it!

brenda said...


Do you know if there is a drop in crime in the city?? It seems like there are many more people outside and up to no good in the city neighborhoods that I drive through. What do your cops say about that? Do they hear anything about it? Just curious.

Kathy said...

Maybe all the criminals who used to live in your neighborhood are in Philadelphia now. Geez, I don't even want to have a layover in that airport at this point.

I like your Lt. - common sense - what a concept!

jody said...

My best friend is a police officer near Mechanicsburg, and she gets some unbelievable calls.A few weeks ago, there was a call for a juvenile disturbance at a trailer park that had a lot of trouble with teenage gang members. When she got there, it was two sets of parents at the playground who had called 911 because their seven-year-old boys were fighting. Seven-freakin'-years-old ! She had another complaint from a woman who was upset because her neighbor didn't like her. So my friend asked, "What crime did she commit ?" - the woman (now sobbing) said, "She won't even wave to me - I just want her to like me." Ohmygod - makes me appreciate our seclusion.

Joyce said...

Brenda-I'm not sure about the city. From what's been in the news, though, sounds like they're busy no matter what time of year.

Jody-we get calls like that for the kids all the time. During the school year, it's ridiculous. The schools call all the time when there's a fight. When I was in school, the principal would handle it. Now they expect the police to be the disciplinarians. The calls I really hate are the ones where a parent calls because their kid won't go to school! Whatever happened to giving the kid a smack on the rear and saying, "Get your butt to school!" These aren't teenagers, either. These are 6 and 7 year olds!

Annette said...

I think there are worse thing than neighbors who won't wave to you. Like neighbors who won't leave you alone. My new neighbors are of the first variety and I'm happy about that! Don't bother me, I'm writing!

I second Kathy's comment about the Lt. Give that man a Klondike bar!

Kristine said...

I thought the hot summer months were supposed to be the most active for crime...all that passion from the heat and such. Hm. Interesting. I guess cabin fever is more dangerous than high humidity.

lisa curry said...

Joyce, funny blog! At the township where I used to work, there was this lady who kept calling the police because leaves from her neighbor's tree blew into her yard and she thought the police should make the neighbor rake them up. The police kept telling her they couldn't do anything, so she started calling the township manager, who also kept telling her there was nothing he could do. (After all, what are they going to do, DNA test the leaves to see whose tree they came from and then make that person go around the neighborhood picking up their leaves???) So anyway, one day this lady came in with a garbage bag full of leaves and dumped them all over the township manager's desk and office floor. (I'll bet the police could have arrested her for that, but the township manager chose just to clean them up and ignore the incident.)

Joyce said...

Funny story, Lisa! I'd love to see someone do that in Shaler.

mcewen said...

would make the basis of a great plot!

Anonymous said...

Joyce...How do you maintain your sanity at work? Loved the comment that followed about dumping the leaves on the town managers desk. Would that be a sight!

Good reading all around on Working Stiffs!

Amy...Joyce's sister