Have you ever stopped to consider how long it would take the cops to arrive at your doorstep if you called them? Did you factor in the time they'll spend drinking coffee and ignoring the call? That's what cops in Florida's Miami-Dade County are accused of doing when emergency calls came in for matters as serious as an unconscious 5-month-old!
The report from the internal affairs investigation is the latest to shine a bad light on police departments in America, and it's shocking in a whole new way. Dirty cops who are on the take are bad enough. Cops who can't take time out of their busy coffee-drinking schedules to actually help people in dire need are another breed entirely.
Among the worst allegations from the report, which dates back to 2010, are those against an Officer Dario Socarras who was called to help an unconscious 5-month-old. Socarras was videotaped at a cafe with his sergeant at the time, and he allegedly continued to sit and drink coffee for nine whole minutes before being cleared from the call. That's nine minutes when someone could have been helping that baby. Socarras' sergeant, Jennifer Gonzalez, and four other officers have also been caught on camera allegedly ignoring emergency dispatch calls.
Their stories might be rare -- ours is a nation filled with dedicated emergency responders -- but they're chilling all the same.
Like the military, healthcare, or the clergy, emergency service is the sort of career one is called to do, ostensibly to help people.
Most of us do not call for that help often. We don't get to do dry runs to get familiar with the 911 procedure. We save that call for when we really need it, and that's when we expect the cops, the firemen, the EMS, to come to our rescue faster than fast because, quite frankly, that's the job they signed up for and we NEED them to do it.
What has turned the allegations about one department in one county in Florida into national news isn't any particular thing about these six officers. It's what they represent. It's our fear that when we pick up the phone in our darkest hour and ask for help, help will sit down and drink a cup of coffee instead.
Do you have faith in the emergency responders in your neck of the woods? Do you worry that it will take them too long to arrive?
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