While David and I were going through the mail this evening, I discovered we had been sent a “False Alarm Bill” from the City of Los Angeles. $151.00 because I chose to be safe and call the cops when my burglar alarm went off a few weeks ago.
I understand, from a public policy standpoint, why the city creates a disincentive to calling the police. But opening the envelope and finding that notice felt like getting in trouble (You can probably guess that I haven’t “gotten in trouble” much in my life) — an authority scolding me for overreacting, for making a big deal out of nothing.
Given how much angst I had about calling the police in the first place, the fact that I also got my hand slapped makes me mad. I wasn’t frivolous. I wasn’t rash. I was alone in the dark with my son and I had no way to know whether there was an actual threat or not.
David thinks I did the right thing and he told me he hopes I would do the same thing next time. But I know that if and when I am ever in that situation again, the “False Alarm Bill” will be added to the scale on the side of Reasons Not to Call the Police.