What's left to abolish?

I get a kick when the more hipster members of the local media refer to the black bloc crowd as "abolitionists." And they keep a straight face while saying this. As if the people breaking windows and lighting fires with the stated goal to "end civ" are actually some sort of noble social movement. Move over, Harriet Tubman.

What do they want to "abolish," society? It seems so. But when you ask, I guess they say it's the Portland police.

Well, they're a little late. As far as I can tell, most of the Portland police bureau has abolished itself. Try calling the "non-emergency response line" in the evening, even a weekday evening. You will get an endless loop of announcements, hectoring you over and over to hang up and file a report on line. Supposedly, an operator will get to you soon, but lately that doesn't happen. Sometimes the call disconnects itself; I've given up after waiting a half hour a couple of other times. They should rename it the "non-response line."

And lately the announcements inform you that this is the Multnomah County non-response line. So in addition to not answering calls in Portland, the system is now ignoring people in Gresham and Troutdale, too.

Then they wonder why people call 911 with non-emergencies. It's because they need to talk to someone, and there's no other number that actually gets answered.

I call upon the city auditor, Mary Hull Caballero, to undertake a study of Portland police telephone service, report on what she finds, and make recommendations for improvement. For the amount of taxes that people in Portland pay, they deserve somebody on other end of the freaking phone, whether they think they are in an emergency or not.


  1. Pretty soon they will claim that you are asserting some kind of “privilege” for just wanting to call the police. You know........you just might be oppressing some under-privileged community member that has a special acronym or something.

  2. Law and Order is so passé... I agree with Bill Maher that we need to add a new time division beside BC and AD. We now need BE- Before Me- cause history doesn't matter, only narcissism does.


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