I live in Miami, in a smallish neighborhood about 20 minutes outside of downtown.
It's not the nicest neighborhood in Miami, but it's far from the worst! We've never had a break in and the biggest theft we've encountered in our 12 years in this home was the time someone stole our edger out of the side yard.
That's not to say that there isn't crime around here, we've just been lucky that it hasn't happened to us.
I've never needed to call 911.
I have called 911 while driving to report crazy drivers, but never at home. When I've called, I've always gotten a busy signal or they've left me on hold and never picked up. I've known for a long time that 911 can't be counted on in Miami.
That point was driven home recently when my mom was out for an afternoon stroll with my daughter and niece. They were simply walking around the block, and a van began following them. As in, slowed down to a creepy rape-van pace and followed them house by house.
My mom got nervous and told the girls to keep walking past the house, as she didn't want the creepers to know where they were going, just in case they were totally psycho - because you never know what someone is capable of!
Backstory: In 1997, my mother was almost abducted by a maniac at the grocery store. He followed her out of the store and tried running her off the road on the way home. In a panic, instead of driving home to where her 4 daughters and granddaughter were home by themselves, she drove to my grandparents...where he tried running his truck into my grandparent's porch, demanding to have "time alone" with my mom. Yeah. He went to jail.
So you can imagine the panic my mom was feeling as this van was obviously stalking her and her two precious grandchildren.
As the van kept following them, my mom called 911 and tried telling them what was happening. She explained that a van was following them and she was afraid they were going to try to abduct her and the children.
At that time, the van stopped in front of my parent's house and the driver got out of the car. Because the backyard was blocked from their site, she yanked open the gate to the backyard and she and the kids ran through and into the house. Still on the phone with 911, she told them what was happening, and that the van was stopped in front of her house.
And then Miami-Dade County 911 transferred her call to voice mail.
As she was asking for the police to come help because she felt that she and her grandchildren were in danger and there was an unknown vehicle parked in front of her house.
Also? My daughter won't be riding her brand new bike around the block anymore.