From the Forum – Ask a Cop

Photo by PoPville flickr user JoshBassett|PHOTOGRAPHY

Ask a Cop:

“Hey folks,

Like many of the sites I enjoy, cops aren’t well understood or painted with a giant brush. I will not argue that there are cops who are power hungry jerks, much like there are power hungry jerks who manage Applebees or are doctors. Anyway, I thought I would let people ask questions and I’d answer them as honestly as I could.

I won’t tell you where I work in DC, but I’m on patrol. Meaning when you call 911, I’m the guy that shows up.”

Ed. Note: We tried this once before and it didn’t really work – hopefully we have better luck this time – thanks to Anon MPD for making the effort.

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117 Comment

  • so it’s a $25 ticket if you get caught with weed. I’m assuming that means if you get caught buying weed as well. but I’m curious – what happens to the dealer, now that it’s only a $25 ticket for possession under an oz?

    • So the weed stuff is evolving, but there is a clear delineation between possession and distribution. So if you have a small amount, that’s a ticket. ON DC Property. US Park Police will lock you up. If you have 10 small baggies with weed, then unless you’re OCD, you’re selling and you’re going to get locked up.

    • Just a quick comment- Police Officers do NOT have law degrees, they aren’t licensed to practice law or advise on the law, and although they may know what is required to CHARGE someone under the law, that’s very different than knowing what will happen in court or being able to weigh your circumstances, background, etc., with the specific judge or prosecutor trying your case.

      So SW,DC and anyone else that is asking about “legal outcomes,” please know that this Officer can only tell you what he’s seen/his experience, and even then you might not want to rely on it for your own case!

      • Accountering

        I think this officer knows more than probably 99% of the general public when we are talking about what happens to someone arrested for weed. Of course he doesn’t have a law degree, this is called ask a cop, and he makes clear he is a patrol officer. With that said, he again has more experience with outcomes in the criminal justice system than 99% of the general public, and is a good resource if one was curious what would happen if one had 10 small bags of weed.

        • You’d be surprised by the number of people I represent that say “but the cop told me x would happen to me…” and then they were charged with something completely different, or they received a different outcome in their case. So no, I don’t think it’s ridiculous for Anonymous to remind the readers NOT familiar with the system (as you point out, probably most) to get a second opinion on their own cases rather than take the specific suggested or possible outcomes AnonMPD is describing as certainties. And yes, I do think it’s great he or she is answering questions, by the way. Thanks!

          • Thanks. Oh, and totally don’t ask me for legal advice. I don’t know anything. I only know what I might lock you up for, which has little to do sometimes with what you might be charged with. Good points by the criminal lawyer.

            The flip side is that I do know criminal law that affects me and my work, so your degree in Admiralty Law isn’t impressive when you’re trying to argue your way out of a DWI.

          • Better call Saul!

        • “Of course he doesn’t have a law degree, this is called ask a cop”
          What makes you say a cop can’t have a law degree? I have a JD and applied for and interviewed for several police officer positions in California. Starting salary out there is $75k+ and you can easily make $90k with overtime. I ended up back in DC as a lawyer, but would have preferred to be a cop in CA and working towards becoming a detective. The irony was that they said I had too much student debt and would be susceptible to bribes. Idiocy.

  • I think it’s very thoughtful of AnonMPD to do this.

    • Yes, very awesome. Thank you!

    • Ditto. It would be nice if we could queue up a bunch of questions and he could do a write-up on one or two each week.
      My question for the PoP Cop: why aren’t traffic violations more strictly enforced here? I’ve lived in Los Angeles and NYC – both are places with horrendous traffic – and cops are quick to drop the hammer on you for the slightest screw-up. Same goes for cops in Virginia (huge jerks, btw – the worst I’ve ever encountered). Cops in DC don’t really seem to care too much about traffic enforcement, even when someone is pulling an illegal mid-block U-turn in front of them. Is it less of a priority now that we traffic cameras bringing in a steady stream of income?
      Also, I want to thank the MPD for being ridiculously nice to me every time I’ve thrown a house party and cops were called for noise complaints. You’ve been almost apologetic when asking for the music to be turned down and never gave us any hassle. MPD is much cooler then the cops in the suburbs, who tend to be power tripping dirtbags, IMHO.

      • I initially read this as “I want to thank the MPD for being ridiculously nice to me every time I’ve thrown a horse party” and was thinking of the long-ago party Broken Jaw described. 🙂

      • I’ve often thought that a cop could just stand on 14th street in columbia heights all day and do nothing but write tickets for illegal traffic maneuvers

      • Ah traffic. A good question. So there is no quota in MPD. Unlike other departments, you don’t have to write any tickets. In addition, when you write tickets and they get appealed, you have go to traffic court (BTA). There is a question of whether or not you get overtime cash for those appearances, which dissuades some officers.

        Finally, if you work in busy districts and you do traffic, you’re going to get arrests for things like driving on a suspended license or not having a license, and this takes you out of commission for a few hours to process. That puts an increased burden on the other officers in your PSA or District to handle the jobs and that can be yet another reason why traffic isn’t done as much in DC.

        • Accountering

          So what is the solution here? Do we need more officers? Seems like we are at 4200 (or 4400 or whatever) and it sounds like that may not be enough?

        • Thanks for the response…. your answer makes a lot of sense. However, this isn’t good enough. The police need to protect citizens from dangerous drivers, and the current system (IMHO), isn’t working. It seems to me that a little bit of re-organization & technology could go a long way here. If certain officers are assigned to do traffic only, this could go a long way to reducing burdens on other officers, and these traffic cops could be shuffled around different parts of the city where needed (I believe this is common in other cities). It would be great to outfit these traffic officers with both dash and body cams, which would clearly document driver behavior. Once word gets out that people are being video taped, this should make appeals decline. Better yet, if city prosecutors aggressively prosecuted people lying about traffic tickets (easily proven with video footage) for perjury, this could also help reduce the amount of time that officers have to go to court.

        • Thanks for the reply. I actually like the current approach of increasing automated enforcement of traffic violations and continuing to focus manpower on violent crime.

      • I agree. I realize that the police are mostly concerned with guns/violence, and there are sufficient quantities of both to keep many officers occupied, BUT traffic accidents cause many more deaths/injuries per year than gun violence. I’ve seen a van come inches away from plowing into a crowded bus stop in front of two police officers, and the officer didn’t give a shit. Even after the crowd yelled at the officers to ticket the dangerous driver, they didn’t budge (the offending driver parked his van immediately afterwards, if there weren’t police there, the crowd might have just beat the shit out of the guy). The amount of cars parked in / blocking bike lanes is absurd, and the city would make some serious money if they would ticket even a small fraction of offenders. So…. to ad to the above question, is the lack of traffic enforcement coming from the top (i.e. police commanders don’t want officers to bother), lack of positive reinforcement (i.e. officers are rewarded for gun busts, not traffic tickets), an apathetic attitude towards traffic violations, or something else? Thanks for doing this!

        • Actually, MPD has nothing to do with parking tickets, that is all part of DMV. If someone is parked in a bike lane, you can report it to 311 be either calling them or reporting it online. The city makes a TON of money off of parking violations and are quick to react to reports to 311.

          • Its DDOT actually who manages the parking enforcement. And yes, they’re quite proactive.

  • I often drink beers (sometimes in a solo cup, sometimes not) in public around DC when walking places. How much would an officer care if they spotted my beer or were suspicious? What would the penalty be?

    • What? Yes, of course there’s a penalty for doing that. That’s illegal. Don’t do that.

      • Sorry – the question was re: penalty. Up to 90 days in jail and/or $500 fine.

        • Im more interested in how much they really care though – and not what the maximum penalty is, but the likely penalty.

    • Hey Joe,

      Are you walking around Dupont with it? Or are you standing in front of your house in Bloomingdale? Possession of Open Container of Alcohol is an arrest. Most times, we’ll ask people to pour it out. But your mileage may vary. Also, it depends on your attitude. If you want to argue about it or tell me that you’re going inside, the chances you’re going to get locked up increase.

      My advice is not to drink in public. If you decide to do it anyway, just have some respect for the officers and hide it. Everyone knows what’s in your red solo cup. Seriously. Everyone.

      • Follow-up question: We can legally drink on our stoop so long that we’re not on the sidewalk – correct?

      • Many years ago, I was walking to Adams Morgan with some friends with a red solo cup in my hand (ah, youthful indiscretion). As I passed an alleyway, some cops had set up a “sting” (i.e. two cops sitting in a car in the alley catching people like me as they walked by). On the spot, I received a citation for like $35 or something. When I went down to the station to pay it, they informed me it was “an arrestable offense” and I had to sign a sheet saying I’d been arrested. I signed the paper (dumb?), paid the fine, and walked away.

  • I have two completely unrelated questions.

    1) What was going on at the corner of P and Florida NE last night? We heard some popping sounds (either gunshots or car backfiring, I dunno) and then like an hour and a half later they closed off our street.

    2) What’s the deal with how much of your car has to be contained in the parking zone when parking at the end of a street? I just got a ticket for having half the trunk of my corolla past the sign.

    Thank you for your service and all the best.

    • I think the point is that your whole car has to be in front of/behind the sign marking the parking zone.

    • 1) I have no idea. Seriously. I don’t work right there and I was off last night. Don’t worry, your question is a popular one among my friends. Even though DC feels small, it has 7 different districts on different radio channels, so we don’t always know what’s going on. Sorry if that’s not so helpful.

      2)There is no absolute answer to this question. Did you know that every car needs to have 3 feet between it and the next parked car? Probably not, because that would mean there are 10 spots on your block and not 20, but that law is on the books. Look at the bottom of the ticket. Was it DDOT or MPD? Because those departments see parking violations differently.

      Thanks for your thanks.

    • It’s been my experience that ALL of your car needs to be behind the sign in question, or else you risk being ticketed.

  • Thanks for your willingness to answer our questions. The MPD could definitely work on community and victims relations. One question I always want to know is why when we know there is an intersection, area or house that is constantly a problem, nothing is done. Can’t there be a stake out or other proactive police measure to gather evidence and stop this activity. In many areas, the same people sell drugs or harass people every day. Many city’s have special task forces or operations to combat these area and types of criminals.

    • Good question. You should know that I’ve seen officers here and supervisors more in tune with the people and issues in their PSA than in other cities. Also, your District website lists the email and phone number for the Lieutenant who handles your PSA, which is remarkable. Email or call him or her and let him know about your issues. They will probably have a lot of knowledge about the hot spots in your area.

      The other thing is that in most problem areas, the solution requires multiple agencies. Maybe ABRA if its a bar or Housing if it’s a housing location, etc. So when talking to the Lt., ask if there are other agencies you could lean on to see what can be done. The police are not immune to bureaucracy either. Trust me.

  • When i see a bunch of cops on what appears to be a crime scene, is it ok to ask what’s going on? i always feel like they’re going to tell me to “move it along,” but then again, i am a member of the community. can i ask?

  • If/when I get mugged, what can I do to increase the odds that the criminals actually get caught and prosecuted?

    • So all I can help with the trying to apprehend them. The better description you have of them the better the chance we can find them. Also, look at things like shoes. Jackets can be tossed or turned inside out. Rarely do criminals bring extra shoes. If it just happened, see if you can go along with an officer in their car to look for the guys that did it.

      As for the courts, that’s not my area. Good luck.

  • I’m not the OP, but there is a way to report suspected child abuse. If you’re in DC, you should contact the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA; a DC governmental agency) at (202) 671-SAFE or (202) 671-7233.

    If you’re not in DC, find more information and contact information here:

    I also find this useful from the website above: “Your suspicion of child abuse or neglect is enough to make a report. You are not required to provide proof. Almost every state has a law to protect people who make good-faith reports of child abuse from prosecution and/or liability.”

  • Why don’t the police do anything about the blatant early morning prositution along West Virginia Ave NE between Florida Ave and Mt. Olivet Rd? Are they blind to this or is it that they can’t do anything to prevent it?

    • There is also blatent prostitution on 14th Street NW north of the old Getaway restaurant and up to just past Red Derby. I see cop cars frequently, but the problem persists.

    • So patrol officers are usually running from job to job and when called about prostitution, they will shoo them away which is really their only tool, being held to the radio and also in uniform. Each District has plainclothes officers that are able to do operations like this. It helps a lot of people are willing to give them observation locations, like your living room, where they can watch the comings and goings without being noticed. They do appreciate this and it does help.

      • Can you please clarify- are you talking about seeing a prostitute on the street? Is it different if you’re witnessing the sex act going on in a car? I haven’t had any luck with MPD response (I call 911).

        • You need to catch them in the act of agreeing to sex/whatever. Simply dressing like a hooker doesn’t make you a hooker.

        • So women dressed in fishnet body stockings are crimes for the fashion police. Yes I know what they are doing, but if they’re not engaging in the act in my presence then this is a free country. That’s why it helps much more to be able to see it all from apartment windows or rooftops.

          • Yes, I am seeing blowjobs in exchange for cash, etc. from my 2nd floor window. Call it in to MPD, and an officer cruises by 30 minutes later. Not so helpful unless its a marathon session. These guys are done in 5 minutes.

  • 1) Don’t bring race into it. (Or were you just trolling?)
    2) You can call Child Protective Services. Be clear that you HEAR threats of physical harm, but have not witnessed actual physical harm.
    3) Bear in mind that — as shown in the case of Relisha Rudd — D.C. seems to have a rather high bar of parental incompetence that a parent/guardian has to meet for kids to actually be taken from him/her.

  • I believe PoP posted it here because the regular timed postings on PoPville currently get more traffic than the Forums section, and that people ARE supposed to post their questions in this thread, not in the Forum one.
    (PoP, please correct me if I’m wrong.)

  • Please call DC Child and Family Service Agency’s hotline at 202-671-7233. Your report is confidential.

  • What about general procedure type question. There may be procedural and not just staffing reasons for the way certain things are. For example people have question about the package thieves and people wonder about why more of the thieves aren’t caught or what do the police do/don’t do, can/can’t do in these situations. Or why don’t officers give more tickets for traffic offenses like running red lights, cars in bike lanes, etc.

    • So the issue of package thieves requires different resources than a uniformed officer. A patrol officer in uniform might prevent the theft, but they won’t catch the thief because he/she will simply wait until they are gone. You need plainclothes resources to trail UPS trucks and hope to not get spotted. You can email your District Commander about this. But generally, these are simple thefts, and if the officers do catch the guy, there is little barrier to entry to another person starting up. Also, cameras have gotten much cheaper and if you can get video of the thief, chances are he’s local and doesn’t commute to do his work. He should be known to the local officers and they can pick him up.

  • What can we do to better prohibit cars from driving the wrong way down our (one way) street? It’s really dangerous (cars SPEED down it going the wrong direction all the time). The block is 4th Street NW between M and N. We try to yell at people when they do it, but it doesn’t seem to help. Last week someone yelled back “I’ve been living here a lot longer than you have!” Maybe so, but it doesn’t make the street two ways!

    • Talk to your PSA Lt and give them a time that this happens normally and see if they can have a unit give special attention to try and write some NOIs (tickets) to dissuade the behavior.

  • justinbc

    This is the perfect thread for a question I’ve been recently curious about. Over the past couple months I’m starting to see a lot of guys on Metro buses (or in the tunnel) wearing these straps with what appears to be perfume or oil or something in small bottles all affixed to it … is this some sort of controlled substance masquerading as a normal thing that people purchase? If so, is MPD doing anything to target these individuals? I see lots of transactional activity with these guys on the bus, way more than I would imagine from guys who just want to smell good or whatever it is they’re pretending to sell.

    • Most of those guys are selling fragrant oils and incense. Technically, crimes like vending on a Metrobus are in the jurisdiction of Metro Transit PD. However, they are usually far away and concentrate most of their energies on the rails. This is one of those areas that aren’t going to get a lot of attention.

      • justinbc

        So it really is incense? I was convinced it was some sort of new manufactured drug, since I only recently started seeing it. I mean I’ve seen some guys double Rambo strapped up with extra briefcases in tow of the stuff. Who needs that much fragrant oil??

        • I feel like this has been going on the whole decade or so I’ve been in DC. It is kind of weird though. There are incense guys that set up shop around the 600 block of penn ave se, and another guy selling Obama tee shirts across the street, and I wonder who on earth is buying anything to keep them in business.

        • If you’re only just seeing it now, there’s something changing in your neighborhood. Ungentrification? 🙂

    • I buy natural oils from them all the time, relax. lol “whatever it is they’re pretending to sell” – condescending, much?

      • justinbc

        No offense intended, it just seemed to be a sudden surge of sellers in the area, as I said way more than one would expect demand exists for.

  • Is it safe to park in Historic Anacostia during the day?

    • Sure. Just like anywhere else, as long as you don’t leave your GPS mount on the windshield or a backpack in the back seat.

  • Hit and run…..we heard a crash late one evening and looked out the window to see two dudes on a moped that had crashed into a parked car… the time we put on outside clothes and got out there they were gone. I looked down the block a bit for a patrol with no luck. We didn’t call 911 because we couldn’t describe them beyond “2 dudes on a moped”. What should we do if this happens again? My car got slammed in the same way last summer and it went nowhere…..

  • When I was burglarized the cops who showed up said there must have been drugs in the house and were telling us to drop the report or else they’d arrest us for possession of drugs. I knew they had no grounds to arrest us, and that there were no drugs involved regardless, but it concerned me that they felt that could bully people out of reporting crimes (especially in a low-income, predominately black neighborhood like mine). Have you found this to be common among the MPD or was my situation an anomaly?

    • Sorry to hear about your experience. Actually, I saw that in New York, but not here. When that happened it was driven from a desire to keep the crime stats low, because Burglary is one of the Major 7 offenses, that’s tracked by the FBI.

      Having said that, you should make sure that your house is free of anything illegal if you’re going to have cops in to take a report. I know this wasn’t your case, but you’d be surprised.

  • What do you think is the greatest impediment to you doing your job effectively? How can the community help?

    • Witnesses. In general, people don’t come forward to assist the police in their investigations, which makes them more difficult to close successfully. I think the community can be an excellent partner if they agree to work with us to solve difficult issues. The community can also take care of itself so that the 13 year olds who start by taking things from stores don’t grow up and graduate to larger, more violent crimes.

      • Aren’t witness testimonies often subject to error though? Even if the person is trying to be honest the memory often doesn’t reflect what actually happened, which can lead to the wrong person being convicted…

        • True, but let me give you a hypothetical. Warm summer night, people are hanging out. Shots are fired, and people see the shooter run and get into a car and drive off. Now when we show up, we’re going to get a few different stories. Black BMW. Blue Mercedes. Grey Lexus, but eventually there will be common denominators and we can build on those. People’s memories fade over time, which is why recalling what just happened to that officer is so important, so he/she can write it down and then they won’t have to try and remember it months later either.

  • There are guys who always deal drugs on a particular corner in my neighborhood. We all know this, so I’m sure you know this too. What is your best advice for getting them to go sell elsewhere? Should we call 911 every time we see something that looks like a deal (knowing full well that when they arrive, it’ll be over/discreet)? Is it true that there is really no recourse for “loitering” to prevent someone from standing on a corner?

    • Drug dealers rely on doing their work in private. So calling the police when their customers are around will hurt their sales. Hurt sales mean they need to relocate. Clearly enforcement is necessary, but from your perspective, engage with MPD. The property they sell in front of needs to be engaged.

      • I have the same problem. It’s the same group of guys every day. There’s even an MPD camera across the street because the cops are theoretically aware of the criminal activity outside of my building, and they still deal. Why is it so hard for them to be caught?

  • I’ve had a few experiences with the MPD, and the ones from the gay and lesbian task force have been noticeably more compassionate and helpful. Do they undergo different training, and if so, why aren’t all police officers taught to be more sensitive and caring when dealing with victims?

    • The officers in the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) are part of the Special Liaison Division along with the Asian Liaison Unit, the Latino Liaison Unit and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Unit. Some officers are assigned to that unit full-time and others work in Districts but can be called to assist with certain scenes. The full-time officers who get to work with the community as their job and not handle radio runs or people on PCP on a daily basis are generally happier because their job is better.

      There is special training (which I haven’t taken) that they undergo, but it’s also self-selecting in the fact that these are community facing units and people who are at ease talking to people and attending community meetings are going to be better at communication usually than your average guy in a scout car.

      I know a few of them and they’re great hard working officers.

  • People often write on POPville that juveniles in this city get a catch and release punishment. My house was recently robbed and the officers implied the same thing. If they were to catch the burglar and he’s a minor, what’s the probability he would do jail time?

    • Well, if he’s charged with Burglary, which is a felony, then he’s going to go through the system. For lesser charges and if its their first offense, then they can be diverted. This means that they’re released to their guardians and go to Youth Court. For those kids with guardians and parents who care about them and who have the energy to correct the behavior, then this is a good solution.

      If they go through the system, they go to Family Court and all sorts of things can happen. They go to a secure facility (juvenile jail), they get taken from their parents, they get an ankle monitoring bracelet, etc. The kids know that they are treated with kid gloves and the malicious ones will work the system until they age out.

  • I was hit and injured walking across the street last year by a car that ran a red light. Officers took the license plate number and spoke with witnesses, but I’ve never been able to get any information… Like if they caught the person. I think they might have never followed through with investigating. Any insight into what I can do now?

    • So when you were struck, there should have been a complaint number generated, or a CCN. They generate these numbers for everything from car accidents to people going to the hospital to assaults. This number basically follows your case. They can look up your name at your District to see if there’s a CCN for the accident. If there was follow-up, it would be noted on the report.

  • Any plans to make the area around Eastern Market safer? I feel like there’s been an increase in street crime since I’ve moved there three years ago, but at the same time I’ve also noticed an increase in officers patrolling on foot and on bicycles. While I appreciate the increased presence, it doesn’t seem to be helping does it?

    • Glad you made that observation. Sometimes having police officers nearby doesn’t mean that it will prevent crime. This is an issue that requires help from the courts in the case of repeat offenders, and probation/parole officers. Greater use of monitoring bracelets is effective in charging people with crimes, but not preventing them.

  • On the subject of keeping crime stats low: How accurate do you think the crime stats are in DC these days? And if you don’t believe them to be accurate, who do you think is manipulating them?

    • I think the best way to answer this is that many people want crime to stay low. Department officials and elected officials know that this will help the city be more attractive to people in addition to allowing them to keep their jobs. However, you, the public also demand that crime stay low, and crime is a cycle. It goes up and it goes down. To think otherwise or to punish people for allowing that to happen is foolish. Maybe a cop out, but if the murder rate is up for this year, will we want someone’s head? Or will we accept that crime is a fact of life and we try and attack it when it pops up and arrest its growth.

  • I’ve had issues with kids racing and driving recklessly (wheelies, driving at high speeds, into oncoming traffic, etc.) dirt bikes and ATVs on the street I live on. Aside from this, I don’t believe these bikes have mufflers/exhaust pipes on them as they are extremely loud. What typically happens when you get called out to one of these situations?

    Over the past few years the problem seems to have worsened.

    • We are not authorized to chase dirt bikes or ATVs. Period. The reasoning is that if while chasing one of these kids, they run into a crowd of people, then MPD and District is on the hook for the lawsuits. So we get them when they get gas or when they stall out, or when they wreck, but that’s all we can do.

  • You sound like a thoughtful, intelligent guy. You could be sitting comfortably in an office like the rest of us, but instead you chose a career that is dangerous and emotionally draining. What motivates you to do what you do?

    • Thank you. I’m also ruggedly handsome. I’ve had jobs that gave me such perks as voice mail and the ability to wear breathable fabric, and those were nice. And there is a lot of nonsense and noise in this job, just like any other. Except while you get some reply all from “that guy” which causes all sorts of issues, I get people screaming in my face about how they don’t care what I think.

      But there are times when you get to help those who can’t help themselves. And in those rare times, it feels pretty good. Also, cops are some of the funniest people I have ever known, and laughter makes the day much better.

  • Can we legally drink on our stoop/front yard so long that we’re not on the public sidewalk?

    • Yup. Only caveat is if its an apartment building and the building manager doesn’t condone that or wants to make a complaint.

  • I’m late to the game, but an oft talked about subject is kids on dirt bikes and 4-wheelers racing down the streets and sidewalks wherever they feel like. Care to touch on this?

  • if the papering procedure was revamped would there be more arrests? say, someone goes to jail and a probable cause affidavit is submitted by an arresting officer which would prevent the officer from having to appear the next morning.

    • Hmmm….seems I’m not the only person intimately knowledgeable about the criminal justice system. So the short answer to your question is yes. In NYC, you talk on the phone with the ADA and tell them the whole story before arraignment and then you sign the affidavit (Gerstain) that they send to you. This means the officer who has the most knowledge about the case is telling the attorney. Here, you have to paper in person, but it doesn’t have to be the arresting officer. In fact it can be anyone, which means they need great notes from the officer, which sometimes happens and sometimes doesn’t.

      But yeah, the papering process could be improved and involve less … paper.

  • Is a noise complaint sufficient ground for entry by the police? I’m talking about an admittedly loud party where the host refused entry to the officers.

    • If you had a loud party and were warned about the volume, then the second time they show up, they can enter, and arrest the homeowner and take the stereo as evidence. You get one warning.

  • Just want to say I am amazed and happy that everyone has kept this civil! Or maybe POP if zapping nasty comments from behind the curtain? For my own happiness I choose not to think that.

    Thanks AnonMPD. Awesome job. I hope we can do this again sometime. I actually learned a few things.

    • I want to second this. Thank you very much for your time.

    • Yeah, I think this dialogue is important but it requires a balance because I’m quite sure that I’d get in trouble if people knew who I was and I realize that I might not answer people’s questions to their satisfaction, but I am just trying to give them a feel for why I may or may not do certain things. Thanks for being civil. My friends used to tell me I was the only cop they knew in real life and they noticed them differently now, and maybe in a small way, that might happen here.

  • There is a large group of men that are constantly hanging out on my street drinking and selling weed (in front of an elementary school). They often harass my girlfriend, engage in very loud fights, and play dice in the middle of the road.

    I have reported this to the policy multiple times with no result, and recently these fights escalated and lead to a murder on our block in the middle of the afternoon.

    Now, the cops are hanging around, but appear to be close friends with the people hanging in the street. We have seen them smoking cigars with them while in uniform and even hanging out with these people as they drink publicly.

    Who should I report this to if my local police station doesn’t respond?

    • Kristen,

      I’m sorry to hear about your situation. When you say the District isn’t responding, do you mean when you call 911? Or have you spoken to supervisors there? Again, I’d say to start with the PSA Lt, who can be found on your District’s web page. You can also see what PSA you’re in. If that doesn’t work, then email the Commander of the District. If you’re still unsatisfied, then email Chief Lanier and your Council Member.

      As to your other point about officers being close with the folks on the street, it’s mixed bag. You learn pretty quickly who the “bad guys” are and who are the guys that don’t bother anyone. I have driven by guys drinking because they don’t start anything, they will give me information about the block and they don’t drink in front of me, because you have to pick your battles and sometimes the folks on the street are your backup before your backup is. Not excusing it, but I remember when I first came on in NY that the drug dealers had the same shifts we did, midnight, day tour and an evening shift. You got to know them and there was an understanding about it. Right or wrong, it sometimes happens.

  • What is the threshold on pulling someone over for speeding. Or is this really a case by case basis if say someone is only 5 mph over the limit vs 10mph+.

    Also, those speed cameras….I’ve found that going 29mph through a 25mph camera does not set it off. What is the limit before I get a ticket?

    • Speed Cameras in the city will get you at either 10 or 11 miles over the limit. As for officers doing LIDAR (Laser Radar) it depends on the officer, but the buffer is usually wider. So for a 20, maybe start ticketing at 35. If you get a ticket for 5 mph, you either caught the cop on a bad day, or you are a terrible person.

  • Hello Anon MPD and thanks for taking our questions. What is the best way to get rid of a drug dealer that is working out of a house owned by one of his relatives?

    • Well, again working with the cops and the courts can help people along. The court can sometimes seek to label the home as part of the criminal enterprise, which is enough to scare the person who is the owner. Or the owner is an elderly person who needs an elder care representative. Or you could file a lawsuit in civil court for damages due to them dealing drugs out of the house. (I’m fuzzier on that part)

      But ask the Vice guys if they can help. That’s a unit in your District.

  • This was great, Sir (since you said you were ruggedly handsome). I’ve learned a lot!

  • Thanks Anon MPD,

    I missed the opportunity to ask a question yesterday, I hope you’re still answering. With that said-
    Can mpd enforce condo/apartment rules? I have ownership of condo/apt in a small non-smoking building. The condo association has received complaints (1) about a resident regularly smoking weed that stinks up the hallway; (2), another resident has concerns about possible small time dealing- a unit has many visitors that only stay a few minutes.
    Can complaints/citations be issued to these residents? If this is a known problem, can other residents make anonymous complaints?

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