Law enforcement rocks when it works, but...
I can call the cops in my fair city about being menaced by a neighbor's unleashed pit bull and get no response, or call them about Sling Blade blasting his stereo over french fried 'taters in his back yard, and get no response, or call them about anything else going down in my hood and get no response, and every time, they tell me it's because officers aren't available for low priority calls.
I think I understand what a high priority call is now. An hour or so ago, I took my dog out for a stroll and a coffee in the heart of downtown, a few blocks from my house, and as we sat and sipped (him from a water bowl), five cops gathered on the corner...downtown, where the worst thing that usually happens is people park at meters without plugging 'em. Those patrol officers stood there shooting the breeze and laughing for half-an-hour, before slowly meandering off in different directions.
Yeah, high priority.
PS. Don't anyone write me about cops having to spend most of their time dealing with the tougher, more violent stuff. I know that. I spent four years as a crime writer before switching to pop culture, and I know it's a tough job. I count lots of cops as personal friends. But I also know that it can't be coincidence that I can't even get a squad to drive by Sling Blade's house or crazy pit bull-owner's apartment, and yet I see the same officers whose patrol zone is my side of the neighborhood always on a park bench or a bar stool (drinking coffee, of course) in the touristy downtown zone a few blocks away.