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Library Sends Police to Collect Overdue Books From5-Year-Old

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by quest7, Jan 3, 2012.

  1. quest7

    quest7 Android Enthusiast
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    A little girl reportedly was scared to tears after a library ordered police officers to her home to collect overdue books.

    Shannon Benoit, the mother of 5-year-old Hailey answered the door to Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd who was sent to let her know that her daughter had two books overdue which had to be either returned or paid for, CBSBoston.com reports.

    "I thought it was way overboard," Benoit told CBSBoston.com. Hailey allegedly even asked her mom if she was going to be arrested.

    Benoit wasn't the only one who thought the gesture was a bit over-the-top. "Nobody wanted to, on this end to get involved in it," Sgt. Dowd told CBSBoston.com.

    But once the orders were given, it had to be done. The books have since been returned.

    Library Sends Police To Collect Overdue Books From 5-Year-Old | Fox News

    Wonder did this cop, have a low IQ?
     

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  2. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    you get a dumb ass order... and do it.. because you were ordered?

    what that cop had now balls? no backbone? no will?
    stupid!
     
  3. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    Wow. Who would order that order? Who commands the police? Judges right? Well, what the hell!? How does a librarian get in contact with and convince a judge to do this?

    Weird. And I don't get why a police wasn't just like " umm... nope, we're busy solving crimes and catching crooks (yes I'm in the '50s ;) )".

    What a strange time we live in.
     
  4. DaSchmarotzer

    DaSchmarotzer Blame it on me
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    I actually agree with what had happened, assuming that many phone calls were made. Why did it get to that point though?

    The book was stolen, the librarian called the police: simple as that.

    Even if officers/soldiers/most workers get dumb orders from their boss, they actually have to do it. It's not for them to decide. ;)
     
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  5. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    That's true, the police were just following what they were told to do.

    Hm... I know when I needed to get a library card for school, it included something where I gave my address - so I wonder why the library didn't just send a bill. Seems like the police time would have been more costly than the books.. :p
     
  6. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
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  7. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    Interesting case. Not the first of its type I've seen.

    The exercise is: What of the story would we change in order to make this look like a proper police action?

    - Age of offender? Suppose it were an adult?

    - Gender of offender? If it were a little boy instead of a little girl?

    - Number of books? 5 books? 25 books?

    - Value of books? Rare books? Encyclopedias? The OED?
     
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  8. DaSchmarotzer

    DaSchmarotzer Blame it on me
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    On the other hand, they couldn't just let the person get away with stealing a book. (I still assume they sent letters and called multiple times, but I didn't bother to read about the specific case ;)).

    PS: 54 years?! :eek:

    EDIT: Ninja'd by Frisco :p
     
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  9. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery
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    The kid needed a legal guardian to sign for her to get the library card. So really, the police went after the mom (or dad) for the overdue books. I guess the article sensationalized it so that the police went after the 5 years old.

    Most libraries don't carry rare books in its inventory. Storage of such books are VERY expensive (cooler temperature and/or airtight rooms or bookcases are used). This is my experience from one of the big research library that my friend took me to: Rare books require 1) signed permission from one of the head librarians or the professor (library is associated with a University). If you're getting some of the older books that's under protection, you can only borrow it for 2 hours max. You can renew it for 2 times afterwards. I remember there's some kind of alert system that will tell you when your 2 hours are up.
     
  10. dan330

    dan330 Android Expert
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    - Age of offender? Suppose it were an adult?
    still a waste of tax money ... and police time for 2 books

    - Gender of offender? If it were a little boy instead of a little girl?
    dont matter.. still stupid

    - Number of books? 5 books? 25 books?
    there would be a limit of how many books are checked out. but again.. it is a kid..

    - Value of books? Rare books? Encyclopedias?
    and why would they even let a kid check out such material???

    i get what you are trying to say... but still does not change me opinion. police have much better things to do :cool:
     
  11. Frisco

    Frisco =Luceat Lux Vestra=
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    There's a section in nearly every well-stocked library with very expensive tomes. Many of them are not available for loan, but must remain in the facility for use.

    Some though are allowed out. I used to have to gather footnotes from dozens of works on medical research. Some of those books were available at the public library, and were worth hundreds of dollars.

    But, I digress. This case of the visit by the police to that home seems benign to me, and as Roze points out, sensationalized by the media based on the age of the kid, and perhaps the gender (do people still feel more sorry for a frightened girl than for a frightened boy?).
     
  12. Bob Maxey

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    Overdue/stolen book policy for the U of U In Utah . . .

    "The bill for replacement will include the price of the item plus a $25.00 non-refundable processing fee . . ."

    So a book worth $45.00 will cost you (or could cost you) $70.00. Three books worth $45.00 could cost you $210.00. That is worth going after. Multiply those figures by perhaps hundreds of irresponsible borrowers and the costs add up. Libraries are stretched and they need every dollar and irresponsible people hurt my access to current materials.

    Perhaps parents should monitor their little ones and keep on top of their borrowed books. Let the kid know she might go to jail and guess what? She returns her books on time, the next time.

    The police are not at fault, they did their job. The library is not at fault, they are responsible for books and collecting fines. The parent is at fault for not watching her child and the kid is irresponsible.

    I think it is possible the penalties for things like this have always been with us and it only becomes news when it involves kids. Kids being tracked down by the coppers is big news. What is never big news is how often parents and kids get what they deserve.
     
  13. Bob Maxey

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    Hey there fella, no judge is required. The library called the police and the police responded. For all we know, it might be policy for this library to call the police. Not returning books is theft and theft is a crime.

    You say you are 50+. Me too and I remember when the local library sent people to collect books and fines. I remember when (barely) truant officers came around to see why your kid was not in school.

    What if I toss garbage on your lawn? Why call the police when I do it over and over again? Or perhaps I steal your water to water my tomatoes? Why should the cops bother investigating me and your claims? I mean, there are drug cartels to bring down and rings of super villains to round up. Your silly little complaint is not worth the cops time. Is that how you want to live?

    In the above case, nothing happened except a few police officers came around to find out why books were not returned. No arrests were made.

    I use the library and they are strapped for cash. So by God yes, go visit the homes and get my property back.
     
  14. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Read a little further and you find ...

    Frankly Mrs. Benoit should thank the officers for keeping it personal. If the library had gone the other route she would have had to appear in court at which time there are fees and lost time. If all she had to do is give the books back, they did her a favor.

    Fox News, "Everything that's fit to twist, sensationalize and otherwise turn into a tempest in a teapot."
     
  15. RottnJP

    RottnJP Well-Known Member
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    I know how I'd vote when the next budget referendum came around... Clearly too many cops in that town.
     
  16. RottnJP

    RottnJP Well-Known Member
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    Who do you think tells the sgt. what to do? Another cop.

    This^. Do you guys who think this is a good use of a cop's time know what a cop's time costs? Of course it varies dept to dept, but let's call it $50/hour, fully burdened, at a minimum. (That is, including overhead- car, equipment, training, dispatch, etc.) So he spends an hour going over for a personal visit, and an hour writing it up... I bet he was frickin' pissed that day. (Most cops I know would be rip$*1* at the idea of collecting a library fine.)

    If they have sent reminders and requests, the next thing they need to send is an *invoice.* Then they can send a few of those. Stamps are cheap.

    Then they can send her a SUMMONS. Stamps are still cheap. She doesn't show? Great- Add in a few fines for contempt and you'll be talking real money.

    Point being- There are legal and financial routes to follow to get payment of a lawful debt. None of them involve misappropriation of public employees. When it rises to being an arrestable offense, and there's a warrant out for Mom's arrest, send a cop. Until then, it ain't their job.
     
  17. Sak01

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  18. Bob Maxey

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    So who decides what cops should respond to or not respond to? Perhaps the sounds from my banjo and Marshall Stack do not warrant a cop's attention. Do you suffer my music? Certainly, when I discover the cops will never arrive, I serenade you further into the wee hours of the AM.

    At 50.00 per hour, perhaps your problems are not worth considering.

    And when we decide that something bad will not be responded to, who do we turn to for help and things progressively become worse and more crimes are added to the do not respond list?
     
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  19. RottnJP

    RottnJP Well-Known Member
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    The criminal code.

    Disturbing the peace is a crime. Failure to return a library book is not. There's no crime until you have failed to pay the invoice and then they have taken reasonable measures to secure payment.
     
  20. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    Ahh... so the library called the police.

    (And when I said "I'm in the '50's, I meant with the usage of the word 'crook', mocking myself really. Not over fifty - sorry for the confusion :eek::D)
     
  21. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Actually non-payment is a civil matter, but if you read the quote i posted above apparently theft of a library book is a misdemeanor and that , in the jurisdiction, includes failure to return books.
     
  22. RottnJP

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    Wow... Yup, I missed that.

    Okay, then...

    Great use of limited resources, that. :rolleyes:

    But I guess if a jurisdiction specifically makes it a misdemeanor to keep a library book too long, the cops could legitimately be asked to enforce it... Poor buggers.

    Things you don't learn in the Academy. :eek:
     
  23. 9to5cynic

    9to5cynic Android Expert
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    By the way, if you wanna steal a library book, why check it out? Just grab it and stuff it away somewhere ;)

    Hm... I still think this is pretty weird. But I suppose that the library needed to get it's books back... *shrug*
     
  24. keatingschick

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    Perhaps not. Not sure how it works in US, but here I'd say maybe not. I went to the library to get some books and was told I couldn't take any out as I had an overdue fine on my card. The fine was something like
     
  25. Roze

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