Monday, May 10, 2010

Keeping it in the family

I grew up on a farm just north of London, hundreds of acres of barley, wheat, and rolling green pastures. I was never much of a farm-boy, though, more interested in playing sports and taking pot shots at the wild life with an array of weaponry that grew larger as I did.

My brother, on the other hand, was a quiet soul who listened to heavy metal and knew the difference between a rake and a hoe long before I did. He was always going to be the farmer in the family, the grubby-handed tractor-driving kid with one eye on the furrow in front of him and the other on the weather.

But life's funny, isn't it? Weird enough that I am a prosecutor in Texas -- you should see where my brother ended up.

Not a farm, but perhaps the coolest city in America: Aspen, Colorado.
Not a bejeaned farmer high up on a tractor, but an officer of the law wearing a uniform and driving . . . well, last time I looked it was a Volvo. Before that a police Saab.
He is in charge, though. A straight-arrow, law-abiding white guy by the name of Richard Pryor.

I was on the Aspen Police website this morning (the least I could do, after all he remembered my birthday this past weekend), just poking around. I wondered what kind of issues they have up there and came across this:

Bear Activity

These numbers represent all bear-related calls-for-service, including bears being bears, trash violations, and bear intrusions. The below chart reflects bear related calls-for-service for the Aspen Police. These numbers were updated on April 29, 2010.

Annual Bear Complaints2007200820092010

Monthly Bear Complaints


Bears. For some reason, this seems like a cool law enforcement/public safety problem to have. I mean, they don't have prostitutes or gangs roaming the streets, they have bears.

But I do want to know what happened in 2008 to bring the numbers down. Given that these numbers represent complaints, not sightings, maybe the bears got smart and ate the potential complainants?

I know, I'll ask my bro.

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