June 10, 2009

Utah cops are too busy - Fuji Instax 200

Apparently, unless you are dying, they don't want to hear from you. Too busy doing other things I guess? Seriously, I have no words for this billboard right next to my house.

Watch, I'll probably get pulled over this week and get a big fat ticket :).

You can pick up one of these cameras HERE.


Nikki said...

You don't know me, but I read your blog and live in Utah as well. I noticed that billboard not too long ago, and then a few days later saw a commercial that said the same thing! They said to call the appropriate authorities for anything other than life or death situations. Who knows the phone numbers for other authorities? I certainly don't.

Jonathan Canlas said...

yeah, no offense to anyone who reads my blog that is a police officer, but this is completely whack.

roadside assistance?
reporting a crime?

who do you call? not the lehi police apparently.

Kristine said...

i drove past that too. so weird.

Aubrey said...

As someone who works in public safety for a utah county agency, let me shed a little light on this :)

There is a HUGE problem of 911 abuse going on right now, mainly due to everyone having a cell phone. We are getting shockingly high amounts of calls every day of people asking for directions, asking for phone numbers, reporting something that happened 2 weeks ago, etc. It is tying up our 911 lines, and we have had actual cases where real emergency calls could not get through. Can you imagine if you called 911 because your child was choking, and there was nobody available to take your call because the dispatcher was taking a call from a man whose bike was stolen last monday and he has no idea who took it? True scenario.

While I agree the billboard is a little too cut and dry, the public is relying extremely heavily on 911 in situations where it is not necessary. (your example of burglary--if it is in progress, that can be considered life or death. if you just got home from vacation and your dvd player is missing, thats not a 911 situation)

anyway, there is a big "911 public awareness" push going on right now...I'm sure you have seen the commercials too. It has nothing to do with us not wanting to help you...we DO, and we want to be available to answer your phone call immediately in the event of a true emergency.

Sorry, getting off my soapbox now :)

(p.s. 1-800-goog-411, Google's free directory assistance, can give you the non-emergency number to local police agencies)

Jonathan Canlas said...

which to me tells me the advertising is bad.

don't want people to call? don't advertise that, plaster the CORRECT contact all over the place.

somehow i think that would not only be more effective, but would not rub some people (who know nothing of the current abuse and don't participate in the abuse) the wrong way...

Aubrey said...

I agree, better education on what to do as opposed to what NOT to do is smarter.

Just wanted to shed some light on the subject is all.

karlee said...

The last two comments were very well stated. I saw this billboard this weekend and couldn't believe it either. Maybe they should change them all to the correct numbers like you stated Jonathan.
By the way.. I love your photography.

grant olsen said...

With stuff going on like this
and this, who can blame them?

Natalie. said...


Jonathan Canlas said...

here lies the problem :

"He could have come up with the non-emergency number just like everyone else does."

like everyone else? sorry, i have NO idea what the non emergency phone number is.

google "non emergency phone number in lehi". you can find it with INTERNET ACCESS, but say you don't have that on your phone? sorry, everyone and their dog is going to do what everyone and their dog was TAUGHT to do, and call 911.

no offense to cops, or their botched advertising campaign, but they should have advertised the NUMBER TO CALL not the number not to call.

Adhis said...

Thanks for posting this photo. Since I first saw the billboard, I've been meaning look at the website listed but kept forgetting by the time I got home 5 minutes later.

Yeah, agreed. No one knows their local police station's number, but (coincidentally?) lately, I've been thinking of programming it on my cell phone. (HEY- that's an idea they should add in their campaign.)

BTW, Lehi Police station closes at 6pm so then you have to call dispatch, which is a different number.

Unknown said...

I completely hate these ads, the ones on the radio are awful, but the tv ads are worse...gah...totally with you. I'll tell you what, I am not memorizing anything but 911 for anything.

Jonathan Canlas said...

"I'm not memorizing anything but 911 for anything..."

this was my EXACT thought and I bet you a cool 1 million dollars there are thousands of others who think the EXACT same thing.

sorry UT cops.

dave jackson said...

Dude. I NEED a copy of that one way or another. Any you know why.....

Awesome stuff!

Your pal,

Anonymous said...

OK Utah, can a cop and buy more 911 phones...

Exteena said...

I was appalled the other day when I saw that billboard too! I'm so glad others feel the same way! So much money spent on something that doesn't do any good in my eyes. And MY FAMILY has plenty of cops in it that would agree.

Unknown said...

I am laughing right out loud.

Samantha said...

So...um. Not to ruffle feathers or anything, but after reading most of these comments, it seems that you all are exactly the people who this campaign is aimed at.
(PS, this is a statewide campaign. It is not affiliated with individual agencies, including Lehi.)

"I'm not memorizing anything but 911 for anything..."

Per your statement, can I then assume that you have no problem tying up a 911 line for something that is not an emergency?
If that is the case, then you had better be prepared for a dispatcher to tell you to look up the non-emergency number and hang up on you. Yes it happens, because yes, it is a huge problem.

I can admit that to some, the billboard message might not be exactly clear. It does NOT mean, "we don't care about your problems and we're not going to help you."
It means that we are always willing to help you, but there is a proper way to report something.

For a law-enforcement agency, an emergency is defined as an immediate threat to life or property. 911 is there so that someone who needs help IMMEDIATELY can get it.

If your bike got stolen yesterday, that is not an IMMEDIATE problem. Sure, call the police. They will gladly take a report for you. However, that is NOT an emergency.
If your baby just stopped breathing, PLEASE call 911. That is indeed an EMERGENCY. You need help RIGHT NOW.
Simple rule of thumb: If something is in-progress, call 911. If it is delayed, don't.

For those of you who say you can't find the non-emergency number or shouldn't have to, I say bull.
It is NOT that hard to find. Call information. Look it up beforehand and program it in your cellphone. Remember the magnets you put on your fridge with important phone numbers? Chances are your local police department is on there.

I work as a dispatcher and I know firsthand the severity of the problem. It is extremely frustrating to deal with this day after day after day.

I'll end my tirade now. I'm really not trying to offend anybody, but it's frustrating to read all your responses to a campaign that is only trying to promote education and awareness.

Morgan said...

Awesome comment, Samantha! It was immediately clear to me what the advertising campaign was about, but I guess I can understand the problems others are having with it. I think it's because I work in health care, and recently spent two weeks riding around in an ambulance seeing firsthand all the people who call for an ambulance when they've had a backache for 3 months, for example. Especially because they have a tendency to call at 3am, even though they feel the same as they have the last 3 months. & it's an even bigger problem with all the patients who come into the emergency room themselves with non-acute problems. Drives me crazy!
But I agree, it would be way more effective to have the right number to call!! There should be a universal (well, national!) number that connects you to your local police station, like 311 in Washington DC. Easy to remember!