It is so cold in the U.S. Midwest that local police departments have implored criminals to refrain from committing crimes until the weather warms up at least a bit.
According to a Fox 4 KC report, the Warrensburg Police Department in Missouri took to its Facebook page to make the request and lighten the mood as residents endured life-threatening sub-zero temperatures and wind chills.
The WPD posted, “[s]o…we are asking a favor (at least for the next three days); can you keep the criminalling to a minimum? It is REALLY cold out…do yourself (and us) a favor…stay inside. Be nice to each other, watch reruns of Say Yes to the Dress (we hear from the firefighters that it’s a really good show). Mmmmkay, thanks!”
Followers of the page loved the post. Some argued that they would watch Judge Judy instead of the suggested wedding dress show. One quick-witted person reminded people that space heaters could be dangerous if not used properly. The commenter, who appeared to be a firefighter, wrote, “[w]hile you’re all staying inside not doing the crimes, please be careful with those space heaters… Or at least buy the firefighters some hot chocolate. Oh, and we like donuts, too, btw.”
— Jim Lokay FOX 5 (@LokayFOX5) January 29, 2019
However, others pointed out that putting this out there might actually invite criminals to brave the deep freeze conditions outside to do something heinous. They compared the post to saying it might be a “quiet night.” Of course, any smart would-be ne’er-do-well would wisely stay indoor planning future criminal activities (or sleeping).
In addition to providing some comic relief during a miserable time, the police department also appears to have coined a new term — “criminalling.” One fan asked if it was a special law enforcement word, but the department replied, “I made it up…I hope Webster contacts me for adding it to the dictionary.”
So far there’s no word if the post did help prevent crime during the intense cold snap especially since that might be difficult to prove. With temperatures that low, arguably the weather prevented the crimes.
During the period of intense arctic air because of the polar vortex collapse, wind chills were expected to range from -20 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. Authorities in the region asked people to avoid exposure to themselves, their family members, and their pets as much as possible. The temperature dropped so much that the United States Postal Service suspended delivery on Wednesday in parts of seven states to protect its mail delivery staff.