I will no doubt piss off a few members of law enforcement, if they happen to come across this blog today, but seriously, GET IT TOGETHER.
I do understand, as much as any civilian can, and appreciate what our officers deal with on a daily basis. I’m sure they’re overworked and underpaid; well, for the most part, like any other profession.
But please don’t insult me by talking over what I’m trying to tell you or explain to you, and please try to keep track of important paperwork. And please, for the love of God, don’t insist that you can’t question a suspect or investigate a crime unless you have actually observed it.
After three hours of painful waiting – on a very hard bench, in a very boring place, listening to screeching children – I obtained a temporary order of protection last Wednesday night. As of 1:00 pm today, it has still not been served.
Oh, he’s aware of its existence; he stopped in on Friday and I told him to leave. He went to the police department, who knows why, and they called me. Said they didn’t have a copy, even though I assured them that the county had said they would fax it to them on Wednesday night. They said they couldn’t enforce the order until he’d been served; I informed them that he’d seen it, he knew of it, and they damn well better enforce it if I need them to do so. This, of course, after she finally shut up long enough and quit repeating herself numerous times to I could get in a word edgewise.
So I called the county. They promised they had faxed it to both my local department and to the county where the subject has supposedly been staying. So they faxed it again. This time it was received. Of course, by then he’d left and so couldn’t be served then and there.
Everyone has said “three to five days” is about how long it takes to serve papers. Since I was in the phone call mode, I also called the county where this is supposed to be served and they assured me they had received it. Good.
That was Friday. Today is Tuesday. Still nothing.
Back to the phone. I called the domestic violence unit; oh, she said, we never tell anyone 3-5 days. Good to know. Here, she tells me, call this Sergeant in the north zone, he can tell you what’s going on. So I did. He called back. Wrong zone. However…he was very nice, very helpful, and he found the problem.
Not only was I told the wrong zone, but they can’t find the order. He asked who I talked to – had no idea; he read a list of names, nope, not ringing a bell because I’m pretty sure the lady I talked to never gave her name. Convenient, yes?
But wait – it’s IN the computer, but there’s no HARD COPY. What, can’t just hit the “print” button? Apparently not.
So, once again, I’m going to do the job of someone else who dropped the ball. Did I mention this is a PROTECTIVE ORDER? Nice job, everyone – and trust me, that’s very heavy on sarcasm. That’s twice that the county failed to follow its own procedure. In one case. I wonder how many other protective orders have “disappeared” or not arrived? Is it that difficult to send a fax?
But wait again – it just gets better! I faxed my own copy, then I called the county office again. Oh no, she says, we don’t fax it outside of this county, we use the USPS. Really. So for an address that’s about two feet over the county line, you use the mail? The fax doesn’t reach that far? Seriously??
Oh, and you mailed it on Thursday? Using what, carrier pigeon? Pony express? WHERE THE HECK DID IT GO?? Do you know why they do it this way? Because…it’s procedure.
Yep, procedure. Gotta love bureaucracy. Let’s use the most inefficient method possible because some moron thought – what? Faxing was too time-consuming? He thought the phone bill might go up? Naw, probably has a cousin who has a brother who has an ex-wife who has a sister who works for the postal system and he thought maybe they get a commission or something. Sheesh.
She also told me that they DID fax it to my local department and they have the fax transmission – both days, Wednesday and Friday. Again, WHERE THE HECK DID IT GO?