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Front Page » Opinion » State Protects Vital Police Work Phone Transfers And Filing

State Protects Vital Police Work Phone Transfers And Filing

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Written by on June 21, 2007

By Michael Lewis
Gov. Charlie Crist and our legislators assure us that while they’ve geared a big fat tax cut to whack bloated local governments, police services will be spared. I’m so glad.

Police protection was firmly in mind last week when a phone call warned me that a Miami con man was trying to use our credit-card number to order tires for his 2003 GMC Yukon Denali from an Indiana dealer.

Kimberly at the Tire Rack politely told me how the con artist had pretended to be my wife’s cousin. She told me the name and address he’d given for shipment and advised me to call the credit-card company and police.

American Express was equally efficient. The operator killed tire charges and handed me to Ashley, who quickly cancelled the card and shipped a new one overnight. She turned me over to Shawn, who told me how to report the fraud to police. So far, so good.

It went sour, however, when I called Miami police and explained. I was told to dial another number, where I told it all again and was told to hold for a second — and without a word was transferred back to the first number and had to explain again. They told me to call a new number, and for the fourth time, I went through the routine.

When I finished that recitation, the lady told me I couldn’t complain over the phone. I had to go to the north station because the tire shipment address is in its territory. But I couldn’t do even that until I got a formal report from the credit-card company. And once I’d done all that, police wouldn’t act anyway, she told me, because I hadn’t lost any money. But they were perfectly willing to put the report in the files.

I am so pleased to know that I can contribute to the files. It would probably have been a very nice, neat report. But given the knowledge that police will do absolutely nothing with it, I’m not even going to research where the north station might be — since nobody told me.

No, the con man is just going to steal someone else’s credit information and keep on going. And that will give Miami police more work answering phone calls, telling callers what number to call next and next and next and filling out and filing reports that will just gather dust forever.

Thank goodness the state is going to protect these vital police jobs.