Monday, June 01, 2009

I expect that the police departments across our nation will need to consider funding alternatives soon

. . . so imagine the local government has reached the end of their economic rope and can no longer find adequate funding for the police department.

Dispatcher: "911 emergency, what's your emergency?"
Caller: "Someone stole my television."
Dispatcher: "No problem, ma'am, we'll have someone stop by between 8-12 this morning, or would 1-5 this afternoon be better?"
Caller: "8-12 is good, what will this cost me?"
Dispatcher: "That depends, ma'am. If all we do is take a report for your insurance company, we can do that for a flat rate of $50. If you want us to investigate the crime then it would cost you the initial $50 plus $50 an hour. We usually put about 6 hours into an investigation."
Caller: "Oh, I thought my tax dollars took care of that. What happens if I choose the flat rate and then you identify the person who stole my television while investigating another crime?"
Dispatcher: "Your tax dollars haven't covered the law enforcement we provide for almost 10 years, ma'am. If we identify the thief while conducting another investigation, you would be responsible for a cost-sharing with the other victim from the point where we identify your property. We would, of course, call you to notify you should that occur. We can do split billing, for an additional $25 each, or you can agree on the amount and get one bill."
Caller: "Oh, well thank you."
Dispatcher: "Did you want us to send someone out?"
Caller: "Uh, no. The television only cost $400 and was over 5 years old anyway, and I've been eying a new flat screen."
Dispatcher: "OK, well tell the store clerk that your television was stolen -- many stores will give you a 10% discount if you file a report."
Caller: "But I'm not."
Dispatcher: "Your loss, ma'am."
Caller: OK, thanks."

What do you think?

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