Monday, February 01, 2010

Mental Monday, 1st of February

J gets a call several weeks ago, about telephone harassment. Goes to complainant's house. Describes her as dressed nicely, well spoken, clean and organized house. She begins to describe the telephone calls she's been receiving. The phone will ring, she answers it, and nobody is there. She says this happens quite often. J tells her what their protocol is, which is to place a trap on her line, more or less, and each time she calls in to report that she's just received a harassing phone call, they make a note of the number. After a few weeks, a report is given to the officer.

While they are discussing this, she says there might be a problem, due to another issue that she can't talk about here (in her home). She mentions this concern that she can't elaborate on several times. J gets a hypothesis forming in his mind, as to what she might be referring to. Eventually she ends up telling him that the CIA is monitoring her, everywhere she moves she gets these harassing calls, and they pay off all her neighbors to help spy on her.

I have a great emoticon I'd love to insert here but I just can't, since it's buried within an IM program. I'll leave you to your imagination.

Since the initial call, J has dutifully followed up on the harassment report. The complainant then tells him that the CIA probably heard her ask for the wire trap, and therefore the phone calls will stop. She does notify of two calls during the monitoring period, which J determines to be from a credit card company. He receives multiple update calls from her, though, during the course of the monitoring period. More calls than she received and noted as harassing.

By the by, because it was only two calls, albeit both from the same company, it's not considered harassment. To indicate a pattern of harassment, a minimum of 3 instances are required.

I think what's interesting to me is how normal he described her (By normal I mean having the appearance of mental health). Each time she called him to check on the progress of the investigation, he patiently but painstakingly explained to her that there is a very limited amount that he can do, that the phone calls aren't considered harassment, that the car driving by at the same time every day is the newspaper delivery guy, etc.

In a way it's funny, to discover that conspiracy theorists really do exist. My little right-shoulder angel, of course, pipes up to remind me that this woman is elderly and sadly is probably suffering from some form of dementia. J and I mused about the potential of him calling a family member. Is that beyond the call of duty? Or appropriate? Or necessary?

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