Call waiting

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I’ve been trying to reach the traffic squad detective assigned to the case after an unmarked Baltimore cop car pulled out in front of me and caused an accident on Orleans Street/U.S. 40 on March 29.

I talked to the detective at the scene for a minute or so, at most. He gave me his card and told me to follow up with him.

On April 6, I called his number at 2:01 p.m.* A woman answered the phone. “You just missed him — he gets off at 2. Call back about 20 minutes sooner,” she said.

On April 12, I called at 1:05, just to be on the safe side. A man answered; it was not the detective. “He works 5 to 1,” the man said. “And he’s on vacation until April 19.”
“OK,” I said, “I’ll call back then.” The man also cautioned that traffic cases involving city police are sent to internal review and take a long time to play out.

Yesterday, I dialed his number at 12:45. A man answered. Again, not the detective. “He actually works 4 to 12. A lot of people say it’s a 5-to-1 shift, but it’s actually 4 to 12,” he said.

Good to know.

“I’ll call back tomorrow,” I said.

“OK.”

Today I called at 11:22 a.m., quite confident I would get through.

A man answered. I asked for the detective.

“Oh, he’s off today,” the man said.

“Will he be in tomorrow?” I asked.

“Let me check the schedule — hold on.”

There is no hold music in the Baltimore Police Department.

The man returned. “Hello, sir? Yes, I can’t find the schedule. But I’m pretty sure he’s working tomorrow. I mean, I think he is.”

I can’t fathom why someone who works at BPD wouldn’t be able to find the schedule, but that’s exactly what happened and how this attempt ended.

The search continues.

* — Times are exact and are based on my call log.

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