In L.A., wise to call 911, or not?
Re “When 911 is the wrong number,” Opinion, June 10
It’s easy to relate a handful of instances where police went rogue and killed an innocent because such instances are so rare. What Venice resident Conor Friedersdorf doesn’t mention in his piece about being reluctant to call 911 over a public disturbance out of fear that the police will overreact are the thousands of 911 interactions where the officers confronted dangerous situations and helped people without incident.
His statement that cops “do not deserve the presumption that they will comport themselves professionally” is disingenuous and not based on any real understanding of what the police do. Suggesting we should call the Department of Mental Health is naive, and it doesn’t have the resources to provide 911 services and so will likely just call 911 itself.
But at least that will let Friedersdorf off the hook.
Coto de Caza
When your neighbor’s house is on fire and you call 911, firefighters arrive. When there is a reckless driver on the freeway, the California Highway Patrol responds.
It seems to me that when someone is in the street shouting insults at a parking meter, mental health services should respond. Why don’t they?
In places where mental health services exist, it seems pretty obvious to use them.