Q: Let’s say my car (with me in it) has mechanical difficulties on the highway. What can I expect if I call a dispatcher with a request for a motorist assist?—EricA: You can expect $99 for the first hour and then $49 per hour after that, depending on which mechanical officer is sent out. Just joking as usual — put away your money. Besides, we only take credit cards.
You can expect many things depending on time of day or type day you are talking about. There are many factors that could affect how or if an officer of the law was able to get to you to provide help.
For example, let’s say you are broken down in the middle of a blizzard with crashes galore going on around. The chances an officer might get to you would depend on how severe the other crashes were and your emergency. We have a duty to provide protection for the public but we have to sometimes triage who gets help first. If there were no officers available to get to you then a road service company might be sent instead.
If it was a normal day (no such thing by the way) and the officer could get to you and the fix was simple, that officer might fix the issue or give advice on how to fix it. I usually give advice to call a mechanic as I still can’t tell the difference between a thinga-majig and whats-yamacallit.
Flat tires will sometimes be changed by officers but are not a requirement for the officer to do. If you get an officer that changes your tire, be sure thank them and maybe even send their boss a note about what they did. I say this because notes mean more for yearly evaluations.
If your vehicle is a hazard and simply can’t be fixed on site, the officer will usually call a tow truck of your choosing to get your vehicle moved so that it does not create a crash area. That officer might also give you and any passengers a ride to the fix-it shop or a place where you could have somebody come and get you.
If an officer does not arrive and the vehicle simply can’t be fixed on-site, please let a dispatcerh know about your vehicle being left there until you can get help. It might mean the difference between coming back to get your vehicle or going to the tow company to get your vehicle plus pay extra money.
Finally, if anybody out there has an officer selflessly help them, let me know. I would love to give them kudos in this column.
Please put these officers, killed in the line of duty, and their families in your prayers. They fought the good fight, now may they rest in peace. God bless these heroes.
- Deputy Sheriff Micah Flick, El Paso County Sheriff, Colorado
- Deputy Sheriff Steve Belanger, Los Angeles County Sheriff, California
- Reserve Officer Jarate Condit, Asher Police, Oklahoma
- Police Officer David Sherrard, Richardson Police, Texas
- Police Officer Chase Maddox, Locust Grove Police, Georgia
- Police Officer Eric Joering, Westerville Division of Police, Ohio
- Police Officer Anthony Morelli, Westerville Division of Police, Ohio
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