Monday, March 18, 2013

A Police Department That Gets It

In many communities, calling the police to report chronic barking is an exercise in futility. It might even expose you to retaliation, not just by your neighbors, but by the police.

That happened to me a year ago today. It was a Sunday evening, and I called to report a nearby neighbor's robo-barking pit bull. When the police finally came out, that dog was as quiet as could be. Officers threatened me with arrest for false reporting if I made such a call in the future.

If any good came out of this situation, it was that the pit bull owners bailed out of this neighborhood the very next day. We haven't seen them or their vicious little noisemaker since then. And we don't miss them.

Here's what I think led these neighbors to flee: I'll admit that I made a lot of calls about this robo-barker. I figured that the calling route was safer than attempting to talk to the neighbors, who didn't appear to be the most law-abiding of people. And, in case you're wondering, ownership of pit bulls and other dangerous dogs has a close correlation with criminality.

Furthermore, if you're a crook, you don't want the cops to keep coming around to chat you up about the barking dog noise. Heck, you don't want the cops coming around at all.

Okay, so that's how things work with the police in this municipality. Not all police departments are like ours. Take, for example, Canby, Oregon. The local police department has an entire web page devoted to barking dog noise. Here's an excerpt:

[W]hen a dog engages in excessive barking it stands a greater chance of being ignored if there really is an intruder. Instead of the neighbors calling the police because their neighbor’s dog is clearly upset about something they just think “that *%&^# dog is barking again!”

It gets better, and I encourage you to read the entire page. Better yet, share it with your local officials.



    1. Decatur AL - I would like to be able to read your blog but it slows up my computer to a snail's pace. Is there anything I can do to fix that? I like to follow the blogs on the Craven Desires website but I can't get to yours without computer problems.

  2. impressive canby!

    their website should become the model for other cities.