Social Question

john65pennington's avatar

How would you have advised this woman?

Asked by john65pennington (29192points) June 18th, 2011

This call to the police, should have been handled over the phone with the police phone operators, instead of sending a uniformed officer to talk to this caller. Nevertheless, I was elected to answer this call. The complainant lived across the street from where the complainant wanted to discuss an activity. The complainant stated the married couple across the street from her, had only been married for six weeks. She further stated that her husband goes to work each day and his wife walks out the front door and into the front door of the house next door. She stays three or four hours each day. An unmarried man lives there alone and the complainant tells me that this is just not right. Question: place yourself in my shoes and tell us what action would have taken and what would you have advised the complainant?

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25 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Was the complaintants name Gladys Kravitz?

I am oinfused, what does this have to do with a crime?

Visiting neighbors is not criminal even if it’s suspicious of an affair.

I would have simply told her ” Maam, this is not a police matter, you have been watching too many soap operas, get a life, take up a hobby, stop spying on your neighbors, this is NONE of your business!”

filmfann's avatar

Isn’t it a crime to call an officer to a location which is obviously not a police concern?
I might advise her of that…

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

I would have asked her just exactly what crime she thought was being committed. When she paused, I would have said “Ma’am, this doesn’t sound like a police matter, this sounds like a private matter, and I suggest you treat it as such.”

rachelnmusil's avatar

Maybe she’s taking the whole “neighborhood watch” idea to new heights (although not that new). It’s the stereotypical lonely woman. She may fee that she needs to get involved in other people’s business because “she knows better for them”.
I wouldn’t have even sent out an officer, I would have just told her that it was none of her business and it’s not a police matter who her neighbors visit or for how long. Unless she has some sort of evidence of illegal activity like prostitution or some sort of drug offence it’s no one’s business but the party involved.

WasCy's avatar

I would have asked her, since she seems to know so much about them, how long they’ve been married and what each of the neighbors does every day, if she could describe the frequency and quality of their sexual relations, what positions they preferred, whether the husband was satisfying his wife in bed, and what the next-door neighbor’s sexual requirements were, and how much cash she had seen changing hands.

Naturally, she would have blanched at any one of those questions and maybe gotten the hint that unless she has evidence of an actual violation of black-letter law, she should watch television instead of snooping on the neighbors.

Or told her that if she really wanted a show, she should report on the wife to the husband – after making popcorn, so she wouldn’t have to get up to fix a snack while the show was on.

I’m betting that you weren’t quite so confrontational or sarcastic.

Coloma's avatar

OMG! Don’t ever let someone that like participate in neighborhood watch, she’ll CREATE crime with her nosiness, the whole neighborhood will divorce, murder each other, shoot each others kids. poisen each others pets. lol

wundayatta's avatar

I’m sorry ma’am. It’s not against the law to visit a neighbor.

Coloma's avatar

It happens everywhere, hell, I live on five acres with a vacant 20 acres right across the little private road I live on with only 3 houses on a dead end street, me being in the middle. My end of the road neighbors, a retired couple in their 70’s drive to their mailbox in their golf cart every evening and they are always staring into my house, they come on down, open my gate and sit on the bench in my yard with their grand daughter to feed my geese.

I don’t really mind, but, sometimes they come over several times in the same day, and the old guy also lets his old lab poo in my yard! I mean, there are TWENTY ACRES of woods right across the road, but…haha

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

If it’s a slow day, ask her to meet you at the police station to provide more details in private. Then put her through the psychological questioning process. It will pretty much guarantee that she will never make a call for such a situation like this again.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I’d tell her to grow up and remind her that there are laws against stalking people.

john65pennington's avatar

All of you have the correct response. This call should have been handled by the police operator, but it was not.

All of your answers were correct and rolled into one big explanation that I gave to her. This was not even a civil case, much less anything criminal.

Some people think the police can solve every problem on earth and that is just not going to ever happen.

Coloma's avatar

Officer Pennington?
Will you come get the lizard out of my bedroom? lol

Kardamom's avatar

You could have said, “Ma’am, consider the next door neighbor, Mr. Johnson’s house to be like Las Vegas, whatever happens in Mr. Johnson’s house stays in Mr. Johnson’s house, unless you have proof that an actual crime has been comitted. Adultery, by the way Ma’am, is not a crime. Good day.” Then tip your hat (just cause Andy Griffith used to do that on Mayberry and I think it’s sweet).

Dutchess_III's avatar

After a major storm we had a couple of years ago, they had to put out over the radio “Do NOT call 911 to have the tree branches removed from your yard.”

Officer Pennington. My husband didn’t turn off the dining room light and it’s shining into the bedroom. Will you arrest him please? Or…at least turn off the light for me?

bkcunningham's avatar

They open your gate!?

bkcunningham's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer she might just get off on it. I wouldn’t be surprised. I’ve seen people go to court day in and day out and sit in on court cases that don’t involve them in any way, shape or form. Well, except that they live nearby and know some of the police officers or they have a friend who knows one of the people who might testify. They just don’t have anything better to do and like to listen to other people’s problems or get a glimpse into their lives.

jetblondie's avatar

I wish I hadn’t read this question. It makes me hate people. I mean, even more than I already do. I think a straightforward answer alluding to the fact that, as @wundayatta said, it’s not a crime to visit one’s neighbor would be great, but only as long as it was delivered drenched in as much condescension as humanly possible. I may also bring along a copy of a bible and remind her to look up the passage about Judge not, lest ye be judged, or however it goes. No offense, but lots of crappy people use God and Religion and the Bible as an excuse to be a narrow-minded, judgmental, poo-head. Twenty bucks says she’s one o’ them.

Nullo's avatar

If I were in the mood for it, I might launch into a lecture about the differences between legality and morality, and who was best suited to regulate which one, making sure to underscore the fact that police department is only concerned with enforcing law. With luck, I might get her to hang up.

flutherother's avatar

Sorry Ma’am but this isn’t a police matter as no laws are being broken.

In a police state it might be different as information like this could be useful for blackmail purposes and the details would be recorded and filed away for future use. A horrible thought, but it does happen.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@bkcunningham I don’t know…those interrogations can be pretty ruthless. Our company had a former FBI agent running the Loss Prevention dept., and the man came to our site when two shift deposits went missing. While I was not involved in the theft, by the time my “interview” was almost done, I was ready to plead guilty.

It would take someone pretty intelligent to derive any sort of satisfaction from an interrogation. This woman sounds like she is a couple of French fries short of a Happy Meal, bless her heart.

Coloma's avatar


Yes, not a big deal really, but, on the other hand, if someones gate across their driveway is closed, you’d think that might be a clue to not enter. lol

I have a funny one from yesterday, was just about to track a package, an amazon order that showed delivery on the 14th. Last night I checked my mailbox on the way home from work and it had arrived. But…some anonymous neighbor on the hill had written a note on the parcel saying ” This was delivered to my house on the 14th, you should complain!”

Um, okay, but, YOU have held my package hostage for 5 days? Guess I could complain about that too! haha Cracked me up?

ucme's avatar

I’d have politely advised her to pull her fuckin neck in & mind her own business!!
I’d make great officer material, I really would ;¬}

rebbel's avatar

What i learned from the answers in this thread is that police officers always address female complainants with Ma’am?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@rebbel And male complainants as “sir”. So?

rebbel's avatar

Just an observation @MyNewtBoobs , i never saw so many Ma’ams together before.

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