Letters to the Editor

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CRIME: Police didn’t ‘protect and serve’

Letter by Stephanie L. Phillippe, Tacoma on April 30, 2010 at 9:03 am with 15 Comments »
April 30, 2010 9:04 am

As my family and I were leaving a local Target parking lot, we saw a car break-in and noticed the burglar fleeing on foot. I quickly dialed 911, told the dispatcher what was happening and explained to her we were following him since he was on foot. The dispatcher pretty much dismissed me and said “thank you for the information and we’ll contact you if needed.”

My husband was trying to corner this guy for over 40 minutes (we were still in our vehicle and the burglar was walking around, waiting for his ride), while no signs of police. Mind you, the police station is only a few blocks away!

I understand car break-ins are happening more frequently and are not as big of a deal as some other crimes, but are we to watch crimes in progress and do nothing or, worse yet, know that police will not help at all?

I’ve always stood behind our law enforcement agencies but this incident proved a total disappointment to my whole family. The saddest thing is that our young children saw the “bad guy” get away with a crime while police didn’t even care.

Leave a comment Comments → 15
  1. I understand completely! I called when my house was broken into and it took Tacoma police TWO HOURS to get out there while I sat in my car in the middle of summer with my 7 year old son! Again I called the police when there were problems with some teenagers on my street. Nothing from them for an hour! Then called my Mom to come over for back up. She called the police again and then the police called ME back in the middle of the situation to yell at me for having my Mom call them! I think a lot of it is the dispatch centers. We need to get a handle on this situation. Start hiring someone for dispatch that will do their jobs!

  2. hansgruber says:

    Maybe that is a sign that the police are so busy, they don’t have enough cops to handle all the crime?

    Look at King County, the Sheriff there said if they have to cut 12% of their budget, they will not respond to or investigate property crimes or drug crimes!

  3. decomposing1 says:

    Must of not been any dogs to shoot.

  4. tubbythetuba says:

    A SCOTUS decision many, many moons ago decided that LEOs have NO obligation to Protect you, only respond. I would encourage you to take advantage of Washington’s easy to get CPW and learn to carry from a professional, and protect yourself. Liberals like to ridicule “Gun Toters”, but if criminals had a reasonable expectation of being shot, they would not ply their trade.

  5. mister253 says:

    Maybe we do not have enough cops? Then why did we build a sub station at Stewart Heights park and Wapato park? We do not have enough cops to fill these buildings if we do not have enough cops to stop the crimes in the city.

  6. Gang bangers openly sell drugs on Pacific Avenue in broad daylight. When I called police about the blatent behavior, I received a “just don’t care” attitude as a response. I second the suggestion to carry a gun when in Tacoma because you are on your own.

  7. InsideJob says:

    I was driving up N Stevens one day and saw one teen slip another a handgun before walking to the convenience store located there.

    I called 911 and within two to three minutes time two squad cars converged, an officer emerged from one car with an AR-15 while the other provided cover and they apprehended all five of the teens.

    I cannot say enough in praise of TPD and the officers involved.

    I was told that the teens said the handgun was a counterfeit or replica, however I never found out for sure because I was headed to Olympia and had to continue on.

    However, from my secure vantage point it appeared that what was going down was that two of the teens entered the store as if to case it and were going to go back and give the “all clear” to the one that had the handgun secured on his person.

  8. live4fish says:

    @Beckey – Well if you don’t like the quality of dispatchers in your city, get off your butt and apply. I’m so sure you could do a much better job. You must know every policy that TPD and the dispatchers have by heart. I’m sure they could use somebody of your caliber.

  9. slasmith says:

    The real problem lies in how TPD utilizes their rescources. They have over 300 commissioned officers and less than 10 are ever actually on patrol duty at any one time.

  10. erkhvd says:

    Get a gun and protect yourself from the Kops and criminals, they are twins. Some just were a red scarf other were a gold badge.

  11. It is the broken-window phenomena. Evidently our police force does not understand it . . .

  12. Probably too busy looking at camera footage to cite your neighbors, or hiding on the highway waiting for you to exceed the speed limit by 5 or 6 miles. Sucks that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away(but take hours to respond)

  13. pazzo242 says:

    The saddest thing was your kids watched this thief get away–really? Do you have any idea what danger you placed your family in? You don’t know if this thief was armmed or not, but you want to complain about the cops not showing up? By your account you had it all under control and the cops are just a bunch of ba-foons!

    Grow up folks its the liberal world we live in. Tie the hands of the cops and take away thier investigative powers and this is what you get.

  14. beerBoy says:

    IJob – report of a gun being handled should be one of the highest priorities. I had a similar experience to the one you reported while living in San Francisco – saw some kids with a rifle (never heard if it was an air gun or fired bullets) in the school yard across the street – the 911 officer kept me on the phone and several vehicles pulled up from all sides within a few minutes.

    Surprised that ItalianSpring hasn’t written on this thread – as citylies he and I had one area of agreement: the TPD is understaffed due to their continued inability to meet recruiting goals.

  15. Copper2Steel says:

    Did the Phillippe family even leave a note for the actual victim of the car prowl/burglary? Seems to me like THAT would be one interested person. If the real victim had suspect information that police could follow-up on, maybe there’s still a chance for a decent ending…

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