I think the cops are watching me…

…and I’m okay with that. My usual running route is a 5-mile loop around New Scotland Avenue and Whitehall Road. Often I see a police cruiser drive past, usually more than once, and I always feel reassured by their presence. It’s comforting to know that there are police officers around observing the neighborhood and keeping an eye on things. This is what I expect from public safety officers.

Image of properly parked car: alloveralbany.com

Sunday night, following the Ray Lamontagne show at the Palace, my friend and I returned to her car which was parked on North Pearl Street. It had been a long day and we were both ready to head home. Unfortunately, we couldn’t simply get in the car and go because Chrissy’s car was double parked in its space. She leaned on the horn, hoping the other driver was nearby, but there was no response. We waited.

After about 5 minutes, during which time 2 police cars drove past, I called 911 to explain the problem. I know, I know, it wasn’t an emergency, but it did seem the fastest way to get some assistance especially since the drive-by cops weren’t responsive. The dispatcher was pleasant and said they’d look into the situation. We waited.

I got out of the car to look around, noticing there were 3 police vehicles parked slightly down the block behind us. I gave the car next to us a second look and realized it was probably an unmarked police car. Hmmm. Looking to the nearby storefronts, I spotted the glow of flashlights in a nearby (closed) business, Buddha Tea House. I went closer and peeked in the window. Yep, lots of cops. I knocked on the window and got the attention of an officer. At the same moment, the man who owned the car behind us arrived and quickly pulled out, enabling us to do the same.

Okay, I know being trapped in a parking space isn’t tragic. There certainly are worse things that can happen, like this for instance. Still, it bothers me that our law enforcement officers thoughtlessly inconvenience residents and visitors. If the situation were an obvious emergency one, fine, but that did not appear to be the case.

So, the cops are watching me and maybe I’m watching them.

3 thoughts on “I think the cops are watching me…

  1. Glow of flashlights in an unopened business…. Gee, what could that mean? There was probably a report of a burglary alarm activation, or even a report of an individual actually inside the business! They were probably clearing the building…

    If a potential active burglary does not meet your definition of “emergency” perhaps you might imagine you that you had reason to suspect that someone was in your house when they shouldn’t be. Would you have wanted them to take their time and parallel park before clearing your house?

    I get the whole “lets monitor the police via the internet” craze that is ongoing, and it probably is effective sometimes (like the recent Saratoga situation). What you outline here is just silly.

    1. Well, Dave, somejow the other 3 cops managed to park in a manner that didnt impede residents from going about their business. The two other cop cars we observed leisurely driving down N Pearl didnt seem overly concerned about the situation or the fact that we couldn’t leave. Maybe, following your logic, they should have been worried about the safety of those on the streets if there were potentially a burglar or criminal nearby. And – what if I had an emergency to get to? The post was a minor rant and tongue in cheek. Or simply silly.

  2. Unfortunately, all of my run-ins with the Albany PD have negative. I hope to make Albany my home again in the future, but the Albany PD does not raise my feelings of security. Perhaps all of the officers were needed to search the closed Budha Tea, but their complete disregard for us that night, makes me wonder about their agenda. Who are they protecting and serving?

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