A cheer for 3-1-1

Most of the time it is best to have extremely low expectations of 3-1-1. I have been told by some not to even bother with 3-1-1, the DC non-emergency number. But I must report a good 3-1-1 moment, when I wasn’t belittled by the 3-1-1 operator or never saw the police.
It began when I was in the backyard checking on the plants when I heard some neighborhood boys going in and out of screaming woman’s yard. It seemed very odd because screaming woman wasn’t home. She’s usually home at that time and well… screaming at someone, sometimes screaming at her kids who then run out to the back. Probably to escape from the screaming. But there were kids but no screaming woman and the house was dark inside.
So I wandered upstairs to get a better look at the alley to see what the kids were up to. Two kids were acting as look outs as three other kids entered the basement door. I watched the kids in the alley, aged between 10-13, peering up and down the alley looking out for something unknown. Then one kid looked up and saw me in the window. I waved ‘hi’ and asked “whatcha doing?” and the two kids bolted down the alley. That’s weird. So I called 3-1-1.
I talked to the operator and as I was on the phone the two kids came back and eyed my window but didn’t see me behind the blind. I described what the kids were doing and then in about 5-10 minutes there were two policemen walking up my alley (the kids had run off again). I pointed out the house they needed to check and they checked the door and went around to check the front. They counted off to figure out which house is the front, as I didn’t know what was the house number for the other side. They came back around and told me the doors on both sides were secure and it looked ok. I thanked them and went back to fooling around with the plants in the backyard.
The next day I went over to the front and discovered the window to the basement was busted and the iron security bars were laid aside. I guess the cops checked the wrong house. Which is easy to do.
But it was still a good 3-1-1 experience none the less.