April 23, 2014

Sunday evening my wife and I were heading home when we notice two boys riding their bikes on the seventh green on the country club golf course.

                We chased them down and were able to have a conversation with the boys estimated ages 13 and 7. My hope was to let them know their behavior was not acceptable that they were on private property and especially that they could damage the green with a cost in the thousands of dollars possible.

                Unfortunately, the older boy was not impressed and in fact laughed at me. When I suggested I might call the police he said “go for it!”

                This is where my problem gets dicey.

                How exactly do I call the police?

                911? No, this is not an emergency and I recently heard stories about people who called 911 for a cat in the tree which obviously wasn’t an emergency, so 911 was not an option.

                I had no phone book, but did have the number for one of Emporia’s detectives in my phone. Calling that number got me to the City/Lyon County line. It asked me to choose between City and County. No problem. Then it said: Dial 1 for a Police for Fire emergency. No, so the next option was Dial 2 for a water emergency. No, so option 3 was for “All other needs.” That sent me to the City’s general mail box. I tried dialing “0” but that went to the mail box too.

                Bottom line my choices were dial 911 or leave a message. I guess finding a phone book was also an option, but that didn’t seem plausible since I was holding onto the handlebars of the older youth’s bicycle.

                As a sidelight we did eventually talk to the boy’s father, but that wasn’t very satisfying either as he basically said “boys will be boys and scoffed at the idea of involving the police.”

                Monday I was able to visit with Chief of Police Scott Cronk who agreed I had a conundrum, but advised me I could have hit 1 for the emergency/911 option and then ask them to call me back on a regular line because my call was not an emergency.  Guess that’s why he’s the Chief.

                Scott did agree to visit with Ed Rathke at the city to see if adding an option for non-emergency contact with the P.D. and Fire Departments might be possible. My hope is Ed will agree and seek a better solution.

                Personally, I went to the phone book and found with a little effort there are numbers for both departments for non-emergency calls. I put both in my phone and suggest you might want to do the same.

                The Emporia Police Department Non-emergency number is 343-4200 and the Fire Department’s is 343-4230.

                O.K. now it’s your turn. Let me know how dumb I was. By the way the boys did do some damage to the green.

            Hopefully, the story ends here. I’m Steve Sauder.