There is a certain happiness sighted when your bus comes along. It is of course a small specialized form of happiness and will never be a great thing.

-Richard Brautigan, The Old Bus

Friday, September 28, 2007

Transit mental health (continued)

Last week, I queried the Sacramento Police Department's handy "Ask Officer Michelle" about the guy I describe here.

Today I encountered someone screaming profanities and banging with his fists on the side of a bus shelter, clearly fighting his personal demons but not directly threatening anyone nearby.

The man was pounding on the glass of the shelter with enough force to shake the structure. It was possible he could break the glass and thus damage private property and in the process hurt himself, but it wasn’t likely.

Is this something worth calling 911 about?

Dear JHughes,

You would be perfectly justified in calling 911. Not only was this man acting aggressively, he could have hurt someone or himself in the process of his rampage. This would have come out as a suspicious person call and or a vandalism-in-progress call. We would have contacted the subject and detained him to investigate further.

People always ask me if they should call 911. I always tell them that if they feel that it would be justified, then go with your gut feeling.

I posted the Regional Transit response with the original post in the comments.

1 comment:

Jim Umbach said...

Just thought you'd like to know I discovered your blog today while searching for something else. My name is Jim, and I live up in Reno, but do travel to Sacramento quite a bit. I've also spent a considerable amount of time aboard the buses down there, as I attended ARC then transferred to CSUS, where I graduated in 1998.

I have ridden over 75 different transit systems all over the world, but am pretty much retired from transit-geeking nowadays. However, I do enjoy reading about other peoples' adventures.

Thanks for the updates, and I look forward to future posts.

-Jim U.