Saturday, November 14, 2009

Pflugerville Five-O

So my husband and I are making our way through the old HBO series, The Wire, and I think it's gone to our heads just a bit. We live in a bedroom community just north of Austin, and there's never much going on here, crime-wise. Until lately, it seems.

Thursday afternoon, minutes after I put Babycakes down for a nap, my doorbell rang. I'm not in the habit of answering it, especially if I'm not expecting anyone, but I peeked out the window and saw a police car parked across the street, so I thought I'd check it out. Sure enough, it was an officer who noticed our side gate was open and stopped to investigate, since our neighborhood has had several daytime robberies lately. As he was explaining this to me, his partner walked around the side of the house and scared the living daylights out of me. He had just shut the gate and was checking to see if everything was okay. I assured them all was fine, thanked them, and they quickly left.

Then Thursday night, as we left for our nightly walk with Babycakes, we noticed that several of our fenceposts had been quite obviously kicked in, probably by a kid on his way home from school. We were annoyed, but my husband put the posts back together as much as he could, and we continued on our walk. We also noticed that some boards on a neighbor's fence had been kicked in.

Friday night, we left again for a walk, and discovered more posts had been kicked in again. I wanted to call the police, just to report it, so they could keep an eye out for any little hoodlums making mischief in the neighborhood. My husband didn't think it merited a call to the police, but added, "Do what you want."

So, when we got home, as he bathed Babycakes, I put in a call to the police department. I should add that our house is a bit secluded from our neighbors, so we seem to incur the wrath of juvenile delinquents from time to time, and this is not the first time we've called the police. The officer I spoke with was extremely helpful and suggested that we file a report. I said that I really just wanted to let them know, so they could keep an eye out, but she said a report would be more helpful, and she'd send an officer out, since "that is what we do." Fine, whatever.

My husband was less than thrilled that he had to spend his Friday night filling out a pointless report, and it took a long time for the officer to finally show up. So long, in fact, that someone from the department called to apologize and said that they would be out shortly. Seriously, it must have been a really slow Friday night in Pflugerville.

The officer finally arrived sometime after 8, and my husband went outside to show him the damage and file the report. While they were out there, a call came in reporting a man with a gun, and my husband asked the officer, "Do you need to take that?" Apparently he did, because he left the report paperwork, promising to come back for it.

If you're still reading, this is where it gets interesting, because my husband came back in with the clipboard and told me that the officer had instructed him how to write the report and precisely what to say on it. He wanted us to say that we had been on a walk and discovered the damage after we returned, which is not how it happened.

We went back and forth discussing this for quite a while. I suggested that the officer had been in a hurry and misunderstood what my husband told him. My husband thought maybe it sounded more succinct to say that we had discovered the damage after returning home. Neither of us felt comfortable fudging the details on the report, even if it was for something as minor as a few kicked-in boards on an old wooden fence. We pondered what to do as we waited for the officer to return.

Eventually, he did come back and my husband was able to fully explain the situation to him. As I suspected, he had originally misunderstood that we noticed damage on two separate occassions, so he and my husband corrected the police report, set the record straight, and finally, the officer was on his way. It was definitely a more eventful night than any of us had planned, all over a few old boards.

Next time, I'll think twice before calling the police.

Now, where's McNulty when you need him?