Friday, August 04, 2006

Trouble on the Reservation

As I was working in my suburban ghetto government office today, I heard sirens for what seemed like hours this morning. Then one of my employees stuck his head in my office to tell me that a fugitive was roaming around on the INSIDE of our massive security fence. The word was that he had robbed the Rite-Aid across the street, crashed his car into the fence while attempting to get away, and then jumped over the fence to hide on the inside. Someone else added that the perp was an escaped convict. Lovely!

I work in the Federal complex on what is known as the “Suitland reservation,” which occupies quite a few acres at the intersection of Silver Hill Road and Suitland Road. The Federal property is surrounded by an imposing fence, which separates us from the world-of-crime that lies just outside the fence. This is a place where stores are robbed and women are raped and people are run over in hit-and-run accidents in broad daylight. At night there are several murders a year that mostly go unsolved. Not the kind of place where you comfortably “do lunch.”

So this morning, I started to get a little more concerned when a little while later I got the following broadcast message:

A suspect being chased by the PG County Police Department jumped the fence at Gate 3. The suspect is described as a white male wearing a tank top, shorts and is scruffy looking. The Prince Georges County Police and FPS, and ONI along with the Security Office are making a sweep of the compound building by building. The building is no longer under lockdown but cars are being checked upon entering and departing the area. Please contact the Security Office (3-1716) if you see anyone matching this description.

In just a few minutes I was scheduled to leave for a doctor’s appointment. Did I really want to go out into a parking lot which might be harboring a dangerous criminal? Not particularly.

Then all of a sudden the sirens stopped and I got the following message:

The individual has been apprehended outside of the compound. The individual was spotted hiding underneath a vehicle on the compound by Gate3 and was chased and apprehended on Hudson Ave. Please resume normal day to day activities. Thank you for your patience.

All was well once again on the inside of the fence. But on the outside... that’s another matter. It may be a long time before all is well in that neighborhood. A neighborhood where drugs and desperation add a level of discomfort to every waking moment.

3 Comments:

Blogger Kristin said...

Ah, the dichotomy of life inside the fence versus outside the fence... Sounds like a very interesting day at work.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I am very lucky to live and work in a small town of about 5000. It seems very safe to us. Downtown Toronto is a much different place now, though. I'm a little apprehensive if I'm by myself. I've become too used to this town!

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't people there pay taxes? Are they not u.s. citizens?

Then why don't they send in the military to establish order? If the municipal cops can't get the job done, then send in an organization that will.

If the military won't do it, ask all the business owners and residents to provide a fund that will hire out a privatized militia. If there is order, obviously they will have more business, besides the more important things, like woman not being raped in broad daylight.

I don't think anyone wants to live in such a controlled environment, but I think in comparison, those that live there would gladly accept the implications.

What do you think?

3:35 AM  

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