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Old 03.04.2012, 22:53
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Ringing up the Polizei ( language pains )

I just tried to call the police to report some one going up and down the street with out their lights on, going top speeds, and was met by a rather rude response. I know my german is bad, but I tried. I tried in french as I do speak that better. Although I was trying to report something for the public's benefit, I was told from I did understand I should know the least amount of German before calling a Swiss German police officer to report something.

It seems that a cop is a cop anywhere you go in this world. Maybe I should call a cop in Valais about an incident in ZH canton to get something done.
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:02
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Re: Police Call

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I just tried to call the police to report some one going up and down the street with out their lights on, going top speeds, and was met by a rather rude response. I know my german is bad, but I tried. I tried in french as I do speak that better. Although I was trying to report something for the public's benefit, I was told from I did understand I should know the least amount of German before calling a Swiss German police officer to report something.

It seems that a cop is a cop anywhere you go in this world. Maybe I should call a cop in Valais about an incident in ZH canton to get something done.
we had this same fun experience following a break-in. it was really just the woman who answered the 117 call in our case, though, the officers we met later that evening and everybody else we worked with afterward were tremendously helpful and extremely understanding of the situation. I later learned that the woman who answered our call speaks perfectly fine English, naturally.

I simply wrote it off as part of the "soft-landing" Swiss Integration Program, since that experience has certainly bolstered my motivation to learn the local language.
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:05
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Re: Police Call

For me when it has to do with ringing up the Kapo or Health services, this has always worked:

Sprechen Sie auch Englisch ? Over 90% of the time the other party obliges straight away.
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:06
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Re: Police Call

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I just tried to call the police to report some one going up and down the street with out their lights on, going top speeds, and was met by a rather rude response. I know my german is bad, but I tried. I tried in french as I do speak that better. Although I was trying to report something for the public's benefit, I was told from I did understand I should know the least amount of German before calling a Swiss German police officer to report something.

It seems that a cop is a cop anywhere you go in this world. Maybe I should call a cop in Valais about an incident in ZH canton to get something done.
Cops only have competence in their own Canton. Add to this that somebody driving around at top speed but without the lights on would first of all immediately put his lights on and second get out when seeing a police car turning up. AND "up and down" means that he turned somewhere which means that his speed was possibly not as high as you felt. Without lights means that he forgot to switch on the lights. Possibly a chap searching for his girlfriend ?
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:08
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Re: Police Call

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For me when it has to do with ringing up the Kapo or Health services, this has always worked:

Sprechen Sie auch Englisch ? Over 90% of the time the other party obliges straight away.
Yes I did that at first. I got the Kantonal police, and they spoke English, then transferred me to the city where I live police, and then I got Mr Un Happy Pants. I tried 4 different languages, and tried in German finally to pig German out what was happening, and he sounded really irritated, along with what I could understand(I know understand more then I can talk).
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:12
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Re: Police Call

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Cops only have competence in their own Canton. Add to this that somebody driving around at top speed but without the lights on would first of all immediately put his lights on and second get out when seeing a police car turning up. AND "up and down" means that he turned somewhere which means that his speed was possibly not as high as you felt. Without lights means that he forgot to switch on the lights. Possibly a chap searching for his girlfriend ?

Dude, I live right off the Seestrasse, and he is going about 2 kms up towards Zurich, and 2kms the other direction, and I can hear the honking(of all the other cars approaching him) all along the way. I can see the speeds are high, and I think he is either being intentionally dangerous or he is nuts.

I think it's worth to report.
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Old 03.04.2012, 23:23
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Re: Ringing up the Polizei ( language pains )

Sometimes it pays to get to know a friendly officer in your local beat. I was given a calling card by one officer, after I had much the same unpleasant experience with another officer who refused to budge. Since then, I have kept in touch electronically with the friendlier officer, which has made my matters much easier.

In this case, the local Post Office ATM was vandalised on a Sunday evening, and I sent pictures to him.
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Old 04.04.2012, 01:32
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Re: Police Call

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Yes I did that at first. I got the Kantonal police, and they spoke English, then transferred me to the city where I live police, and then I got Mr Un Happy Pants. I tried 4 different languages, and tried in German finally to pig German out what was happening, and he sounded really irritated, along with what I could understand(I know understand more then I can talk).
This is such a huge contrast to Canadian police services. I've only dealt with them as a witness to a crime really and then only in two cities, but they always seem to have translators on-hand for so many languages...
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Old 04.04.2012, 01:32
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Re: Police Call

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Dude, I live right off the Seestrasse, and he is going about 2 kms up towards Zurich, and 2kms the other direction, and I can hear the honking(of all the other cars approaching him) all along the way. I can see the speeds are high, and I think he is either being intentionally dangerous or he is nuts.

I think it's worth to report.
Worse to report it may be. And I believe you. But simply look at it from the perspective of somebody on the phone at the city police. Imagine that when they advise a patrol car to go up, it will take 10 minutes to be there, and this means that the "culprit" will have left a while when they turn up. By the way, the Seestrasse between Stadtgrenze and Bahnhof Enge has a total length of 3 kilometers, and has many "obstacles" making driving at real high speed impossible. I know the road very well, and used it by car for decades. And I know that there is no point on the road where you can see the road for more than 600 meters. YES, there ARE people who enjoy speed driving and testing their cars in the way as you describe it, but again, I am sure that they did not do so for more than 15 minutes, as they most likely know that this is the time a ZH patrol car needs to arrive.
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Old 04.04.2012, 01:36
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Re: Police Call

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This is such a huge contrast to Canadian police services. I've only dealt with them as a witness to a crime really and then only in two cities, but they always seem to have translators on-hand for so many languages...
Zürich Police only employs people who beside German also speak English and French, so that this is hardly the problem.
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Old 04.04.2012, 01:45
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Re: Police Call

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This is such a huge contrast to Canadian police services. I've only dealt with them as a witness to a crime really and then only in two cities, but they always seem to have translators on-hand for so many languages...
I have to put this to a test "Entschuldigung ich schnoere nur zueri duetsch"
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Old 04.04.2012, 01:55
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Re: Ringing up the Polizei ( language pains )

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I just tried to call the police to report some one going up and down the street with out their lights on, going top speeds, and was met by a rather rude response. I know my german is bad, but I tried. I tried in french as I do speak that better. Although I was trying to report something for the public's benefit, I was told from I did understand I should know the least amount of German before calling a Swiss German police officer to report something.

It seems that a cop is a cop anywhere you go in this world. Maybe I should call a cop in Valais about an incident in ZH canton to get something done.
Make yourself a tape with gunshots sounds,help screams and croaning sounds ,for next time .Then call the emergency # play the tape,when they show up point out to the seestrasse
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Old 04.04.2012, 02:22
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Re: Police Call

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Zürich Police only employs people who beside German also speak English and French, so that this is hardly the problem.
except in my case
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Old 04.04.2012, 02:40
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Re: Police Call

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Worse to report it may be. And I believe you. But simply look at it from the perspective of somebody on the phone at the city police. Imagine that when they advise a patrol car to go up, it will take 10 minutes to be there, and this means that the "culprit" will have left a while when they turn up. By the way, the Seestrasse between Stadtgrenze and Bahnhof Enge has a total length of 3 kilometers, and has many "obstacles" making driving at real high speed impossible. I know the road very well, and used it by car for decades. And I know that there is no point on the road where you can see the road for more than 600 meters. YES, there ARE people who enjoy speed driving and testing their cars in the way as you describe it, but again, I am sure that they did not do so for more than 15 minutes, as they most likely know that this is the time a ZH patrol car needs to arrive.

So what you are saying in the future it is just best to ignore this situation and hope no one gets killed? Yeah I'd love that on my conscience. Plus the cops are only 3 minutes from here.
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Old 04.04.2012, 02:55
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Re: Police Call

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So what you are saying in the future it is just best to ignore this situation and hope no one gets killed? Yeah I'd love that on my conscience. Plus the cops are only 3 minutes from here.
Yeah, I don't understand this rational either. We don't live in the dark ages.

Why do people become police officers if not to help people?
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Old 04.04.2012, 02:59
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Re: Police Call

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Yeah, I don't understand this rational either. We don't live in the dark ages.

Why do people become police officers if not to help people?
Perhaps just to earn money? In any profession you get a wide spread of people - from those who really do it with a passion and those who just do it. In the case of the police, it used to be a vocation (back in th'old days, like) where one could depend on the good old bobby. Now though, it's just a job like any other.
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Old 04.04.2012, 03:20
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Re: Police Call

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except in my case
They understood you perfectly well, but simply were not interested in a matter where they KNEW that their patrol car would arrive at least 20 minutes too late
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Old 04.04.2012, 03:24
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So what you are saying in the future it is just best to ignore this situation and hope no one gets killed? Yeah I'd love that on my conscience. Plus the cops are only 3 minutes from here.
A) by "the police" you mean the police station. Even if so, they cannot send a patrol car, as the patrol cars are enroute and possibly 20 minutes away at least
B) YES, you should, unless you have some certainty that the situation 20 minutes later still will be the same
C) the Polizei-Notruf at night most likely is NOT the police-station you have in mind but the "Zentrale" on the Limmat just behind the Coop
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Old 04.04.2012, 03:29
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Yeah, I don't understand this rational either. We don't live in the dark ages.

Why do people become police officers if not to help people?
Can you help people when you with most certainty arrive a quarter-hour too late ?

It is not really their fault as quite many of them are not Zurich citizens. Fact is that WE, and with WE I mean citizens of the Canton of Zürich and inhabitants of the cities and towns and villages on various occasions at public votes voted against increasing the police force. WE also voted against higher salaries for policemen. That there are not enough patrol cars in operation is negative I admit but most people here had the feeling that the State/Canton of Zürich already is reglemented and supervised enough so that no increase is required
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Old 04.04.2012, 03:38
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Perhaps just to earn money? In any profession you get a wide spread of people - from those who really do it with a passion and those who just do it. In the case of the police, it used to be a vocation (back in th'old days, like) where one could depend on the good old bobby. Now though, it's just a job like any other.
In the "old times" policemen had a retirement-rent, when the AHV did not yet exist (1948). Up into the 1960ies, policemen had rather high salaries, something they no longer have. While in the City of Zürich, police has become an "apparatus" I in Adliswil (2002-2009) and in Glattbrugg (since 2009) to my surprise made the experience that policemen are far more motivated. And of course have their police-cars in their hands and not administrated in a far away "Zentrale".
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