This morning started out like any other routine day. I had the day off from work and my wife, being employed by a firm that keeps regular hours, had left for her job a little after 7 a.m. Well, about an hour later while enjoying a typical East Brainerd morning over a cup of coffee and the companionship of my faithful dog, I hear a knock on the front door.
Upon opening the door, I see two members of the Chattanooga Police Department informing me that my wife had called for assistance because I was making abusive threats towards her and wouldn't leave my own house. Confused as to why they would say this, I tried to inform them there must be some mistake, as my wife left for work in good spirits. I even allowed them to search the house for my wife's supposed beaten and battered body, which admittedly annoyed me because the house was a bit cluttered and I wasn't expecting company.
While one officer searched several rooms for my supposed abused wife, the other officer asked me a few somewhat personal questions regarding the quality of my marriage. I told her my full name, my wife's name and where she worked and I asked her who exactly made the call but the questions continued. After almost five minutes of this ordeal, dispatch notified the officers that they never got a firm address, that the true victim with a name different from their wife called from their cell phone and it was located through a GPS tracking system.
Apparently satisfied that I was not some sort of Chris Brown/Oscar Pistorius hybrid and perhaps a little embarrassed, I received a "Sorry to bother you, sir" from the officer who was asking the questions and they proceeded to leave my property faster than a cheetah on a caffeine high.
I have always and will continue to hold the police in high regard. I understand that I can not blame the officers in question for this, as they are under a lot of stress and they can only go on whatever information they have. I am concerned, however, that while I was being accused of being a wife beater, whichever one of my neighbors who called 911 was in an increased level of danger due to their error. As the recent shootings in part of the city have tragically illustrated, there are numerous bad people with evil intentions who would seek to commit unspeakable acts of horror on their fellow human beings and even a delay of a matter of seconds could be the difference between life and death.
Perhaps it's time for a review by the CPD and E911 on the policies and protocol involving cell phone calls for help. It's probably unavoidable to sometimes get the wrong house, but there should be extra precautions that could be taken in order to ensure the reasonable public safety of those who need it.