It’s a number we are taught as children, a number that no one ever wants to have to dial. However, in the unfortunate circumstance that you have to call 9-1-1, you want to know that help is on the way, and quickly.
Sometimes, it’s the fear of the unknown, or sometimes, it truly is a matter of life and death. But, knowing that officers are being sent, or paramedics are on their way can do more to help soothe panicked nerves than most anything else.
About a week ago, my husband had to make that call, requesting officers be routed to our home immediately.
A neighbor, while making a citizen’s arrest, had a burglary suspect on the ground at gunpoint between our home and our neighbor’s.
Within two minutes, four responding vehicles were in front of our home.
Between the accused burglar, the understandably irate neighbor with the gun, the neighbor’s dogs wandering around, curious bystanders and concerned homeowners (us and our next-door neighbor), the officers easily had a confusing mess on their hands. Not only did they respond to our emergency call immediately, but they also were professional and had the situation under control instantly. Once the officers arrived, at no time was I concerned for anyone’s safety, having full trust in our police force and their training.
Response times for Peoria police have been in the news quite a bit, in recent months, along with crime rates. Some critics say response times are too high, leading to unsafe areas of Peoria and citizens at risk.
So, let’s be honest. Certain areas of Peoria are safer than others. I live in an area that is not considered one of the safest … far from it.
Besides the incident last week, we’ve had other home break-ins in our neighborhood, strangers fighting in my front yard, task force raids on a home nearby, a vehicle stolen from our driveway and other stolen vehicles dumped in front of our house, and a shop owner was shot and killed in her store a short walk from my front door last year. Despite this, I still feel safe, because any time I’ve needed them, the police show up quickly and with as much force as the situation warrants.
In my opinion, some of the loudest voices critical of police response times live in some of the safest parts of Peoria. I am not one of those.
While I do believe certain issues within the police department need to be fixed, for now, I would like to add my voice to the other side and loudly say, “Thank you!” to our police officers and our emergency dispatchers.
I know you work long hours and I know you deal with much more than many realize. I thank you for being there when needed, and for responding when called upon.