New PoP Feature: “Ask an Officer”

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

I’m not sure how well this will work but let’s give it a go. This feature is for questions where you want a no bullshit completely unofficial answer from a Police Officer. S/he will respond to your questions and give their own personal opinion. The answer in no way represents an official response by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Again, the answer comes from a police officer but is only his/her’s opinion and is not endorsed by MPD. So if you want to ask about crime, graffiti, juvenile crime, noise or anything else send an email to princeofpetworth(@)gmail and put “Ask an Officer” in the title of the email.

51 Comment

  • What is the best way to deal with crime on North Capitol St. between NYAve and Rhode Island Ave? What makes this street a hot bed for drug trafficking and robberies and where do most of the criminals arrested in this area come from? Do they live in or near Truxton Circle or do they come from other places?

    Thanks for your time and service.

    • Dont bring Rhode Island Avenue into this. Rhode Island Ave and North Cap has very little crime.

      Now, from NY to Florida? Yeah, whats up with that?

  • What’s the point of an unofficial answer? All this is going to do is further the spread of inaccurate information and rumors. Frankly, this column as it is proposed right now is irresponsible.

    A much more valuable exercise would be to work with the official MPD outreach office and get real, thoughtful answers to your questions.

    • are you new to PoP? there is no such thing as “official” information on this blog. it’s all rumors and innuendo (as well as mudslinging, race baiting, suburb bashing, and fuzzy animal pictures). that’s what makes it compelling reading.

      • I’d rather hear what a cop is thinking than the official line. They have to live in it day in and out. They know what’s going on, and a no BS answer is better than “It’ll be better soon”.

        • yeah, this city has too much official, politically correct, ass protecting bull shit and not enough tell it like it is.

    • WRONG, eddy. MPD’s been altering crime stats and working the PR machine to keep us public citizens content. In reality, when you talk to any line officer, you get the truth, and it’s really sad truth.

      I’d rather hear the truth from the front line than the filtered “official” version with my head in the sand.

  • Why does your union rep inject himself in electoral politics just because (supposedly) you guys don’t like the chief of police?

    Seems like it would further alienate the population (who like her 4:1 vs. “cops” who many people distrust) from the police force.

  • Love this addition!

  • First and foremost: THANK YOU for everything that you are doing.

    Question: What should I do if I suspect that there is a location (Parking lot in front of a liquor store) where people are dealing drugs, but I only have a hunch and no proof.

    I can certainly confirm that almost everyone who assembles in that parking lot is drinking vodka and beer out in the open. Its a nuisance…and its making the whole area loko bad. Advice?

  • What should a citizen know about proper procedures for making a citizen’s arrest?

  • How would a citizen arrest differ for juvenile vs adult?

  • What is the best way to avoid getting shot by an armed child street robber?

    How many juveniles are there right now freely walking the streets with a history of violent offenses under the management of DYRS?

  • Clearly many violent children in this city are extremely well armed with handguns, even the police report that nearly half of all armed robberies are committed by children. 1 in 5 or more homicides in DC are associated with children. Where do you think all these children obtain their guns and ammo? What is their favorite type of gun to carry? Are there any dogs or sniffing technology to detect gun powder on people packing heat?

    • Favorite guns?

      Most of them carry .38 or 9mm. Some use .22’s and .45’s.
      If things get real serious thats when Mac 11’s and Shotty’s come out.

  • What is the name of the toughest most notorious gang/gangster in DC? (besides the entire republican party)

  • On it’s face, I like this idea, but it seems really impractical.

    I think you’ll end up with 78 random questions (everything from crime prevention to garbage collection and lost pets) and 211 snarky comments on how stupid those questions are, or that the commenter should go back to the suburbs if they don’t like DC the way is.

    I’m not trying to be negative about it…. I just think maybe a different format would be more effective?

  • Why did they have to kill Omar?

  • I think is a wonderful idea. I can’t wait to read the questions/answers. Particularly since you’ll be editing out the unhelpful ones.

    Responders – note you have to email POP with your question.

    • you’re right. I missed that detail. Better idea than I originally thought.

      Sorry, very tired today and busy at work (trying to squeeze in some PoP time!) and I didn’t read carefully.

  • What happened at 740 Newton Place on Tuesday night?

    • Again, i’d recommend going to your local PSA meeting. There, you can get in touch with your local LTs, and ask them this question directly (or get on their distribution list).

  • Another MPD employee here… will be following this column with great interest!

  • ok, so i have a serious question.

    i kept my md driver’s license for years after i moved to dc. then a renewal by mail came from the mdmv license and i sent it in (submission of the about to expire license was not required). while i was awaiting the new md license, i decided to register for my dc license. when i went to the dcmv, i gave them my md license that was about to expire. the new md license arrived in the mail. i am pretty sure i now have two active driver’s licenses.

    my plan: maintain two different point histories for insurance purposes.

    my question: will it work?

    • …for awhile, but I’m guessing that all DMVs “true up” their databases on an annual basis.

      Insurance companies probably pull from ALL DMVs more frequently….and since your D/L is connected to your SSN, I’d say the only safe use of your dual D/L plan is as a backup/alternate ID to get into bars….

    • I think you could get into trouble for that. However, I have two unexpired licenses (DC and VA) and I use the older one for non-official purposes because the photo’s a lot better.

  • Great Feature! I wish there were more serious questions.

    I was pulled over for speeding down Connecticut Ave last year mid-afternoon. This enraged me much more than I time I have been ticketed before. Three months earlier, at about the same time, I was mugged in Dupont. The attackers hit me from behind with some large object. Fortunately someone came down the alley and I didn’t lose anything but was hospitalized.

    So as far as I am concerned, this cop that was giving me a ticket could have been patrolling the streets and preventing violent crime. Instead, he was wasting his time and my tax dollars (we can argue about the importance of traffic safety, but as far as I am concerned it is not a problem in DC).

    I let the cop have it, dropping the f bomb to his face. He threatened to write me up for more than speeding.

    My questions:

    1) How do cops mentally justify idiotic beats? How can police have any respect for themselves when assigned to give out speeding tickets or arrest scalpers outside Verizon when there are so many other pressing problems?

    2) How far can you push the first amendment when talking to law enforcement agents? If I issue no threat, why can’t I tell a cop that he/she is an idiot?

    • I’d probably have slapped you across the face with my nightstick, but then that’s why they don’t give me a gun.

      What gives you the right to be that disrespectful to anyone much less someone working.

      Go bitch to your city councilperson.

      • What give cops the right to be disrespectful to someone that poses no threat, though? I’m not saying it happened to this guy, but I’ve seen cops doing things to other people that were totally cruel and unprovoked (not to mention unprofessional).

        • Exactly. If someone is doing something wrong on their job, you offer feedback. Sometimes it may be overly harsh as I was in this case. But its not against the law – or is it when it comes to police?

          • It’s not against the law, but unfortunately the cop isn’t going to like it. Unless he’s morally upright he will retaliate by arresting you for disorderly conduct or drunk in public (no breathalizer is required) or some other nonsense charge. Even if you’re sucessful in getting the charge dismissed you’ve still lost several hours in jail and several more in court. Best thing to do is discretely take a video, post it on You Tube, and hope it generates enough response to shame the guy into not doing it again.

    • redirect your energy to something you can do, not just something you can get away with.

    • You’re taking the law too literally– use some common sense. If you insult someone that has the power to make your life miserable, they will almost certainly use that power to ake your life as miserable as possible. You’re lukcy he only threatened you– if you were in Virginia they would haul you off to jail under false charges (it happened to me in Fairfax County).

  • How often do DC police bust people for marijuana? What about marijuana growing? It’s difficult to make an assessment about public policy without having some unofficial info from cops. I imagine a lot of busts don’t make the official crime stats because the pot was the lesser of a couple crimes. Also, with medical marijuana coming (maybe?) I’d like to know how that might affect police enforcement. Thanks.

    • Hmm. On that subject, why must officers responding to crimes in the “bad” neighborhoods always accuse the victim(s) of being involved with drugs? I had it happen to me when my Ward 6 house was burglarized– being made to feel like a criminal made an already horrible expereince so much worse, and it would certainly discourage me from reporting crimes in the future. Or is that the intention?

  • How frustrated are DC’s man-on-the-street officers with the DC court system? It seems to me it must be very demoralizing to catch the same punk several times for the same crime, and see the revolving door spit them right back out on the street… to later step up and kill someone. In the opinion of officers, which Judges are the worst in this regard?

  • Prince Of Petworth

    Just to repeat, questions will not be taken from this post. If you have a question – email princeofpetworth (at)gmail with “ask an officer” in the title. You’re question will then go into a queue to be answered in time.

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