May 6, 2008


Sometimes the sheer amount of public service bungles in my country is mind-boggling. It feels there is a freak tragedy always in the making, like this latest calamity that lead to the cold-blooded murder of an innocent bus driver. [report via teacher dude]

Last Saturday, Greek cop duo nabbed familiar local 30-some year old junkie for petty theft and assuming junkie is harmless because he's never caused problems before (17 prior thefts), put him in the patrol car WITHOUT handcuffs (mistake #1).

THEN one officer leaves his service revolver out in the open and within range of "harmless" detainee (mistake #2).

AND, suddenly, it begins. Junkie goes berserk, grabs easily-accessible police gun, runs in and out of shops and buildings like a madman, car-jacks, takes hostages, kills.

A shocked woman, who only minutes before was being threatened by the ranting, gun-waving junkie, calls "100" (the Greek 9-1-1) crying desperately for HELP.
The officer at "100" responds that she should call again, but THIS time dialing the city code in front of "100", instead of calling in the incident via police dispatch!!! (mistake #3).

To make a tragic story short, junkie THEN finds and drives off in a patrol car WITH THE KEYS IN THE IGNITION -for Pete's sake- that police officers forgot there by mistake (#4), of course.

By this time, junkie has shot down the innocent bus driver in cold-blood which appallingly... THE POLICE LEFT HIS BODY UNATTENDED FOR EIGHT HOURS (mistake#5).

Apparently, the police was running around trying to catch the murderer unaware of who he was as Greek news footage showed us a cop manhandling and cuffing the H-O-S-T-A-G-E instead of the perpetrator (mistake#6).

Incompetence. Clumsiness. Tragedy.


Today I noticed more patrol cars whizzing by with their blue cherry lights flashing, most of the policemen are frowning, and I haven't seen them hanging out at any cafeterias drinking frappes. It's almost as if the police force is trying to regain some of its dignity...

for a few days.