Please hold…

Just imagine the scenario.  You call 911.  A recording advises you to- “Press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish. 

Then- “If this is a police emergency press 3.  Fire emergency, press 4.  To report a crime press 5.  For city service calls press 6.  For all other calls stay on the line.”  

You press one of the buttons. 

The ubiquitous computer generated voice- “We’re sorry, all call takers are busy at the moment.  Your call is important to us.  Please stay on the line.  Your call will be taken in the order it was received.”  

You are forced to listen to music interspersed with ads on how great the mayor is or some alderman’s new initiative.  When your call is taken, it is not by a human, but another computer generated voice. 

“Thank you for calling.  Now, tell us about your problem.  Just say what you need, like; there is a man shot, my mother is dying, a water main broke, or my house is on fire.” 

You try to tell the voice you need help and you need it now.  The house is on fire, your mother collapsed from smoke inhalation, you tripped over the man shot running from the inferno, and you are now knee deep in water from the burst water main. 

“I’m sorry, I could not understand you.  Did you say there is a cat in a tree?  Let’s try again…”

After several futile attempts talking to the computer, you are told to stay on the line and some one will help you.  Hopefully you are still alive, the house did not burn down, your mother did not die, or the street flooding did not wash away the body of the man shot.  You faint when the city snow plow shows up.

According to Sun Times columnist Michael Sneed, there are rumors the city may put the 911 center on the auction block.  The city is considering privatizing it.  Turning it over to some corporation to run. If it is like the parking meter fiasco, one of the owners will be a foreign potentate.

This is not just a bad idea, it is insane.  Core essential services should never be privatized, especially emergency services.  That they would even consider such a move demonstrates there is no sanity left in city government.  Privatization fever is infecting their brains.  Addling their already crepuscular thinking. 
 
It this story is true, you should be outraged.  It is your personal safety and security on the line.  It may even be your life or the life of a loved one.  The iconic buffoons and clowns who run this city prove everyday they are totally irresponsible, wantonly reckless, egregiously negligent, and practice the art of political malpractice in its highest form.

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About Peter V. Bella

Peter V. Bella is a passionate cook and photographer. Mr. Bella started cooking as a child with his parents. He has taken professional courses through the years. Mr. Bella a a freelance photojournalist and writer based in Chicago.
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