In L.A., wise to call 911, or not?

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

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.

Bruce Bates

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.

Sheri­dan Bentson

Pa­cific Pal­isades

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