Yesterday morning my phone rang. It was someone downstairs using the intercom to get into my building. He said he was the police.
Now why is it that when you hear it is the police at your door, your heart stops momentarily and you get a sinking feeling in your stomach. You wonder what it was that you did wrong. Must be some leftover guilt from being raised by parents who believed that anything that wasn't church related was wrong. After all, I haven't robbed any banks lately. I don't own a car, so there are no outstanding traffic tickets. I'm too old and too tired to get myself into too much trouble these days. So why is a policeman calling me wanting to get into my building?
As I live alone, I make it a practice not to buzz anyone in that I don't know. So I went downstairs and after checking his identification, I let the officer in. Turns out, he was a very nice young man who just wanted to know if I had a phone number for my landlord. This officer's job is to work with apartment building owners in my area, for the purpose of reducing drug traffic and crime.
I am fortunate to live in a building where this isn't a problem as far as tenants go. It wasn't always so. When Mike and I first moved here 15 years ago, we had a neighbor down the hall from us who was a drug dealer. There were a parade of his customers knocking on his door day and night. Later on there was, how shall I put this, a lady of ill repute living here, with another parade of men knocking on her door. There was an assortment of people who couldn't seem to live together without fighting, and the police were called regularly to referee. We continued to live here only because the rent was so reasonable and we were allowed to have our pets.
So my landlord first fired the guy who managed the building as this man was only concerned with collecting rent and turned a blind eye to everything else. Then my landlord set about to clean out the building. He remodeled the apartments and took care to check references when renting an apartment. He installed a security system. I now have good neighbors and no longer worry about who is wandering the halls.
It is nice to know that the local law enforcement is working to help landlords in my area when it comes to crime. Makes me feel a little more safe and secure. I gave the nice young man a couple of ginger cookies that were cooling on the kitchen table. And thanked him for watching out for the residents of this area.
So the next time a policeman knocks on my door, I may not jump to the conclusion that it is a bad thing.
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