On Wednesday I dialed 911 for the first time. In retrospect, I shouldn't have. I had just gotten back from dinner with my mom in Louisa and was unloading the car when I saw some guys fighting at the end of the block. Two combatants, two onlookers. From my vantage point, it was hard to tell if it was a fight club situation or a serious brawl. But someone ended up on the ground, so I went upstairs and called the cops. Despite the perennial horror stories about 911 service in DC, the system worked great for me. A patrol car coincidentally rolled by and scared off the brawlers (who left together on seemingly friendly terms) before the 911-dispatched cops could make it to the scene. But a squad car did show up within five minutes, flashing lights and all. The dispatcher called me back, the miscreants dispersed without getting arrested, and generally everything worked as it was supposed to. I considered myself a satisfied DC resident.
But the DCPD has really gone the extra mile. Spurred (I like to think) by my hawk-eyed citizenship, our neighborhood now has a police horse. Or it did last night, anyway. Take that, evildoers!