With business reopening around the state, Oregonians are fumbling to adjust to the new rules and regulations.
This week, the McMinnville Police Department received a call from one such confused citizen, who contacted the station about a local barber shop that had raised its prices since reopening.
"It was certainly one of the stranger calls we've gotten through all this," says Chief Matt Scales.
The call came in Wednesday evening via a computer dispatch of the non-emergency line. When Scales was alerted to the complaint by one of the station's administrative sergeants, he "made the quick call that we weren't going to respond to something like that."
"It was my 'eye roll emoji with a face palm, can you believe that, shake your head' sort of reaction," he says.
That same day, Scales published a tweet about the incident that captures that spirit:
Scales only read a transcript of the tip, but believes that the caller was sincere given the number of other erroneous calls the station receives, especially during the pandemic. The department has also been getting calls about people standing too close to one another and not wearing masks.
"This is just kind of along the strange new lines of this world we're living in where people are upset," says Scales. "People are willing to call the police for just about anything."
The person who called about the barber shop did not specify what they expected the police to do about the situation.
"I imagine that they just wanted us to give them a call and either go and talk to the barber shop about their increased pricing or speak to the Oregon Attorney General's Office on their behalf," says Scales. "But that's not something that we were willing to do."
The tweet ended up going somewhat viral, gaining over five times more likes than the account has followers. Scales says that while he does want to discourage future calls of a similar nature, he wasn't trying to shame anyone.
"Whoever did make that call," he says, "hopefully they're not too embarrassed."