Reverse 911

To the Editor;

            I wanted to register a concern about the Mattapoisett police response to the massive boat yard fire. Twice earlier that day, we received on our home land line an automated “emergency” call from the police indicating first that they were looking for a man wearing only one shoe, and later a second “emergency” call indicating that they had found him. But we received no word whatsoever that there was a major fire raging in our town less than two miles from our home. We actually learned about the fire only from relatives in Boston and Hingham who called us at 5 in the afternoon after they had heard about the fire, wanting to know if we were all right. Why didn’t the police contact all town residents about this fire, even if only to keep us away from the involved streets and to stay alert for any developing events. I wonder if the emergency presented by the shoeless man measured up to the seriousness of the major fire?

Michael Scott, Mattapoisett

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One Response to “Reverse 911”

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  1. Jim Halpert says:

    What benefit would calling residents about the fire have provided? People who had to be evacuated were evacuated. Road blocks were in place to “keep us away from the involved streets”. As it was, the huge pillar of smoke attracted many understandably curious people to the wharf and town beach. Sending out a call would probably have made it worse. Rather than keeping residents away, calling about the fire would likely have brought out even more lookie-loos and rubber-neckers.

    On the other hand, a thief intentionally rammed his car into a police cruiser, sped away with complete disregard for the lives of the public, and was now potentially lurking in our back yards. So, although the major fire was very serious, sending a reverse 911 call for that would likely have added more issues. The “man with one shoe” posed a danger to the residents and informing us gave us the opportunity to be watchful and take protective measures. It put us on alert and let us know that we should call the police if we saw the suspect. They probably let us know they found him so that would could relax knowing there was no longer a dangerous person on the loose.

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