Dear PoPville – Why Don’t We See Visible Police Foot Patrols instead of Officers Sitting in Cars?

mpd

“Dear PoPville,

I do not send this email (and attached photo) as a malicious attempt against the Metropolitan Police Department – this is why I do not include a face or any identification in the photo. I merely want to point out room for improvement on part of the MPD. Since moving to Columbia Heights last fall I have been shocked by the lack of in-person police presence. The only police presence I regularly see occurs on the alley I live in. At least 3-4 nights per week there is a squad car regularly parked overlooking Girard, about once or twice a month they also bring out the floodlights. I am not questioning the efficacy of the squad car and lighting – they are obviously effective in deterring crime in the immediate vicinity. What I would like to question is the lack of in-person police presence in this area and Columbia Heights as a whole.

On my way home from evening class last night (7/22) around 9PM I could see the police headlights as I approached the alley on my final stretch home. I chuckled to myself and thought: “I wonder if the officer will be attentive or on their cell phone?” Sadly, the latter is typically the case. I decided to have my smartphone ready to see if I could document this. Sure enough I was able to walk DIRECTLY in front of and then to the side of the vehicle (within 3 feet of the driver’s window) without the officer ever looking up from his cell phone. This occurred over a 30-40 second period. As you can see, the officer’s thumb is clearly on the phone while he is texting. I was completely flabbergasted by the fact that this guy didn’t notice me until the flash of my camera went off. One then begins to wonder what exactly these police officers patrol.

I wonder how much more crime would be deterred if these officers were not allowed to use personal cell phones on the job, or if they went out in teams of two – one officer remains with the stationary vehicle while another patrols a 4-5 block radius on foot.

Again, my attempt is not to be malicious but to simply point out some poor behavior on part of the MPD, there is clearly room to improve. “To serve and protect”, is that how the saying goes?”

113 Comment

  • I see the beat cops walking. biking and sitting in cars in Mt. Pleasant.

    • But also, a lot of cops just go from call to call and use the remaining time to sit in their cars.

      • Obviously because it’s not safe for them to exit their vehicles with all the wiley bicycle riders running through stop signs!!

      • Pfft! Cops walking?! What is this? The stone age?!

        Well how else are they gonna surf the internet and watch all of the cameras they put up?

        You can’t fit enough video monitors on bicycles, there’s not enough power outlets.

        Crime prevention in DC would fail if police can’t watch crimes through a video screen!

      • It’s mainly a problem in District 4. Cathy Lanier is awful. I blame Bowser too.

    • I saw cops on bikes twice on Illinois Ave NW by the circles. Once on July 4th around 6pm-which is a shame because he was only a few blocks away from the mini-mart that got robbed.

      • >> I saw cops on bikes twice…

        OK guys, cancel the discussion! The entire city is safe, no need for change, this citizen saw cops twice.

    • +1 The police assigned to Mt. P are fantastic. I’ve had a few incidents where I needed their help and they were very responsive and followed-up with me later. I see the same police who helped me around the neighborhood a lot. They know the area well and are a visible, interactive presence in the community. It is much appreciated and I think helps keep crime to a relative minimum. It’s too bad that the police in Columbia Heights haven’t established the same relationship with the neighborhood.

      • +1 I moved from Mt. P to Columbia Heights and I miss those cops! I felt much more comfortable walking around alone at night.

      • I live in mt p and each time I see the police they are in their cars, and often on their phones. Someone broke into my friend’s car fifty feet in front of where they were parked.

  • I’m sure some experts will say that just having “cops on the beat” is a feel-good measure for the public that doesn’t really deter or solve crimes.

  • One could argue that police in cars are more visible than police on foot. They’re also better positioned to respond to a variety of crimes that way. Did you see what this guy was doing on his cell phone? I imagine that police use text messaging and smart phones for work purposes, just like many of us do.

  • justinbc

    “Why don’t we see them walking?”
    I’m not trying to be a smart ass here, but maybe it’s because they don’t walk around with flashing blue lights? There are beat cops out there, but as you might be able to guess it’s significantly slower to cover terrain on foot than it is in a car. So although you might not see them while taking the same route home every day, they do exist. I run through Capitol Hill almost every day and regularly see cops in cars, out walking the street, and biking around in their little cut-offs shorts. People have this fantasy that if only a cop were out on the street when a crime happened to them it would have been prevented, ignoring the fact that he would probably be covering a large area, on foot, and very unlikely to be on the same block the crime happened. Because if he had been, the perp would have just gone to the next block to find their victim. There are certainly shortcomings with any police agency, but there is also a lot of shortsightedness by the general public who feels as though they never get their tax’s worth.

    • Must be nice to live in a neighborhood with a police presence.

    • I think it’s your response that is the fantasy here. Beat cops, on the street and regularly so, are not there so that they will be present and a few feet away when a crime happens. Having them regularly patrol an area is a visible and powerful signal to those who are contemplating street crimes that it is not a good area to do so. And if beat cops also make others “feel” more secure, they are also more likely to be out on the streets walking around, again making the area more secure for even more people. The people who commit street crimes in DC don’t just decide at the last minute, hey, I think I’ll rob and assault someone. They generally plan, and pick out the optimum place/time/situation to commit crimes. If you wanted to snatch phones or mug people, would you be more wary of doing it in a neighborhood regularly patrolled by visible beat cops on the street, or the area with a squad car parked somewhere and guy inside screwing around with his smartphone?

      • justinbc

        How many of these street crimes do you think occur in the same neighborhood that the perp lives in? So often it’s people driving into a neighborhood, committing the crime, then leaving. They have no idea of Bob the Cop is out every Sunday patrolling nearby.

    • ” … biking around in their little cut-offs shorts. People have this fantasy … ”
      .
      Lieutenant Dangle!!!

  • How do you know that the officer was using a personal phone? I can imagine multiple reasons for an officer — using a patrol car as an ‘office’ — to use a phone. Your goal might not be to be malicious but taking flash photos of cops, making assumptions about their behavior and posting about these assumptions leaves me flabbergasted – and I’m not someone easily prone to flabbergasting.

    • I did not realize MPD officers were issued iPhones and regularly texted as a part of the job. To my knowledge this is why they have radios. No assumptions were made, this is a regular occurrence at this exact location – read my letter to Popville.

      • Well, I’m pretty sure you did make an assumption about what the cop was doing on his phone (i.e. that it was personal business, not police work). Many if not most professionals in DC use smartphones for work purposes, in ways that cannot be replaced by radios. I can think of all kinds of ways that an iPhone would be useful for a police officer, beyond checking personal texts and Facebook.

        • Sorry – I guess I should have said I’m *assuming* that you made an assumption, i.e. I assume you didn’t get close enough to see exactly what the cop was typing/reading on his phone.

      • I text tips to the vice guys. I doubt they are walking around with a personal phone and a gov issued phone…

    • I did not realize MPD officers were issued iPhones and regularly texted as a part of the job. To my knowledge this is why they have radios. No assumptions were made, this is a regular occurrence at this exact location – read my letter to Popville.

      • Not 1:38 but:

        Police officers are regularly issued smart phones (and not uncommonly iPhones). Radios are used to relay information such as dispatching calls, reporting on a scene, requesting backup, etc and go out across police airways. Phones are used to communicate information that does not need to be shared across the airways so as not to clog them up with information better shared directly between officers. Not saying this is what this officer was doing because I wouldn’t want to make that assumption, not even saying that police in Columbia Heights are doing a good job being a visible and a present part of the community because I don’t spend much time there but your assertion that this was a personal cell is also an assumption.

        Just to prove I read your letter: “I wonder how much more crime would be deterred if these officers were not allowed to use personal cell phones on the job…”

      • I thought desk work was to be completed AFTER your shift is done. This guy was on patrol, hence he should be PATROLLING, not doing desk work on a smartphone – if that was what he was doing.

    • Flabbergasted… really?

  • The disturbing issues with inattentive officers/officer safety notwithstanding, they could have been on a break or writing a report. We all want to think and hope that MPD officers are working every minute of their 8 hour shift but they take breaks at work, like I am doing as I write this at work, if the calls for service are not stacked up. If you are concerned about deployment, I’d encourage you to email your PSA Lt and copy the 3D Cmdr (jacob.kishter at dc.gov) as he is extremely responsive. You may also want to get involved with your ANC or the 3D CAC: https://sites.google.com/site/3dcitizensadvisorycouncil/3d-cac

  • Because it’s hot and humid out, duh!

  • jim_ed

    I can’t possibly be the only one who regularly sees the cops patrolling on Segways in Petworth, right?

    • They have those?? I’ve lived here for three years and have only seen one man in a business suit on a segway.

      • jim_ed

        Yeah, I see them several times a week cruising down my sidewalk. Its a little funny (though understandable) that they make them wear bike helmets while riding. I always chuckle everytime I see the normal beat cop – who is enormous and built like a linebacker – riding the segway with his little helmet on. I keep hoping one day I’ll see him race by with a little light and siren on top.

      • Do you mean you don’t ever see them in Petworth, or you never see them at all? I see officers on segways ALL the time . In Petworth, I see officers on bikes fairly regularly.

        • Just Petworth, but I don’t leave the area between Howard and Sherman circle that often and I work in MD. I’ve seen them downtown. I’m a little jealous I haven’t seen them here because I want to see the siren on the helmet thing happen.

          I see officers on bikes in Petworth regularly too, which is great because it’s usually by the schools.

    • I went to the CVS at 14th and Irving the other night and there was a cop going around in circles on a Segway while talking on the phone– I can’t say for sure if it was business or personal but he was laughing a lot. Across the street there was a group of 15-20 teens passing around 40s in plain view. Oh the corner of 14th and Irving.

  • Yeah, I’m pretty sure I see a lot of cops sitting around in cars, e.g., in the quasi-abandoned parking lot off Sherman between Barry Pl and Euclid. Working hard, or hardly working?

  • I’ve been pleasantly surprised on multiple occasions to see cops on foot/bike/and in cars come out of nowhere in my neighborhood mere seconds after something strange goes down. (Usually it’s when large groups of teens are walking through causing a ruckus). The last time it happened I actually said out loud “It’s really good to know that even though we don’t see them, the police are watching over the neighborhood.”

    Although I know there are instances of neglect or incompetence — as there is in ANY organization — I have faith that MPD has a plan and we don’t all need to be privy to it. If someone walked past my desk and saw that I had PoPville open right now, they might assume that I’m not getting any work done today. They can’t see the second screen I have open to my right with about 7 documents open on it and quite frankly, they don’t need to know how I get my work done.

    If you’re having problems with police response, send it to your neighborhood commander.

  • To begin to understand the move from community policing with foot patrols to the increased reliance on patrolling in cars, Peter Moskos’ Cop in the Hood is a nice primer: http://amzn.com/0691143862

  • I live in Shaw and I see a lot of cops in cars and SUV’s, but I can’t remember ever seeing a foot patrol, or even a bike. It’s a shame, because a lot of people on our street, myself included, hang out on the stoop and there are usually large gatherings of people. A few minutes spent interacting with people would go a long way. I also wish that cops would stop turning on their lights to run a red light, then turn them off as soon as they’re through the intersection, but that is probably a pipe dream.

  • The answer to the question posed in the title of this post is that MPD is in the business of minimizing crime statistics. They ARE NOT in the business making your community safe. And how do we keep those stats low? We ignore petty crimes; convince citizens that they shouldn’t file reports for property crimes or non-injury violent crimes; and concentrate on investigating the crimes that are highlighted on News4 so we can show the City Council that we have “zero tolerance” for the predators who are taking advantage of our neighborhoods.

  • I’m pretty sure the police union has fought tooth and nail against every attempt by the city to get more officers out “walking the beat.” I have seen cops on mountain bikes they seem to be a small % of the force. I believe the union claims that having offers too far from their vehicles would hinder responsiveness in case of some sort of dire emergency that required a massive police presence (I call that BS but whatever…like there isn’t a way to allocate resources to ensure coverage in such an event)

    I wish the police would be more receptive to using bikes or just their feet and embrace a neighborhood approach to policing. At some point in our history policing became wedded to the automobile and the police as an institution can’t seem to shake their cars (granted, neither can TV or movies, although my favorite part of TJ Hooker was watching William Shatner chase down bad guys on foot!). I would love to see police officers walking around or biking through my neighborhood interacting with residents. It doesn’t happen. My suspicion is that when it happens in DC it’s the exception to the rule and only because of the individual officers taking the right approach. I see too many sitting in their cars playing on their smart phones. Drives me nuts.

  • If anyone attended the monthly Police district meetings, you would find out that the police use their cell phones to respond to 911 and other emergency calls in their area. You would also know that the police give residents their cell phones to call/text for any reason. They could be responding to citizens’ concerns. You would also know that there are several other kinds of enforcement patrolling the neighborhoods. DoJ and the Courts have patrol cars around the nieghborhoods checking on their charges. They are also patrolling during the school year as students walk to/from schools. In my opinion, police in cars can respond and chase suspects more quickly than while walking. And, like others in Petworth, I have seen several police on Segways and bicylces patrolling the streets. I think they are doing the best they can given the sentencing and juvenile systems in DC.

    • +1 to this reasonable response.

    • Footpatrol vs carpatrol -I don’t think the point is response time to a crime. I think the point of foot patrol is neighborhood awareness and to deter crime. It’s also not a one vs the other. It should be both, no. You have some folks in cars patrolling the neighborhood that can react quicker and you have some folks on foot patrol…and you rotate. The knowledge of the people, places and things in a neighborhood aren’t known if you spend all day in a mobile office. You start meeting neighbors, seeing the neighborhood – you’re awareness of overall neighborhood is enhanced and you can know if better if something is “off” …at least that is my take. I would say they are different tools in your toolbox(along with biking/segway/etc) and to only use one is stupid. Foot patrol should be the foundation of any good police force, no?

      • My point is that instead of debating the merits of foot patrol versus car patrol based on a cell phone photo and a ton of speculation, perhaps it might be use to I don’t know, GO to one of the community police meetings that are held on a regular basis and TALK to them about it. Do you actually know that this particular precinct has decided that car patrol is preferable to foot patrol? Do you actually know what particular crime issues are affecting those choices at a given time? Have they had a spike in robberies or some sort of issue on that block? Do they have different types of patrols at different times of the day? I don’t think what one person see on their way home from class a few times a week enough information to declare that the police were doing a poor job. If I were actually concerned about what was going on in my neighborhood, I’d make an effort to actually educate myself on what they were doing and why. Going to a community meeting seems like an obvious and basic step.

  • I’ve actually seen quite a few officers walking the beat here lately

  • OP had a point and I don’t think we expect them to be “on” every minute of their shift but it’s hard when consistently I walk by cops in cars doing this and have personally been ignored twice when knocking on the window to point out a guys smoking weed in front of EL Haynes while children are walking into school and another time a few up urinating in broad daylight 15 feet from the cop…both times I was ignored and no action was taken.

    • Take down the number of the car and report the guy to the commander for the police district. (I think E.L. Haynes is at the southern edge of the Fourth District, but it might be at the northern edge of the Third District — not sure.)

    • Well, now the cop probably couldn’t do anything about the guys smoking weed even if he wanted to.

      • I thought decriminalization meant that people could smoke weed on their own property, but that smoking it in public is still not allowed. No?

      • completely untrue. decriminalization does not permit public smoking.

  • There is an officer in the Woodley Park area. See him all the time on foot and no car insight.

    • Wasn’t somebody saying the other day that there was a cop in the Woodley Park area who was so awesome that when MPD was going to reassign him to a different beat, the whole community protested and the neighborhood was able to keep him?

  • I live on the corner of Girard and 14th. I regularly walk my lazy dog up and down that stretch on Girard. The OP is unfortunately correct about the officers sitting in their cars for hours on end. And yes, they are quite often on their phone or computer. No judgment, but I and my dog get very close to the cars on a regular basis and they often do not even look up. And they are not always doing “police business”.

    HOWEVER….

    I do want to point out that I am happy the police are even there. I feel safer on Girard because of the increased police presence, even if they are “just sitting” in their car.

    AND…I have also seen an increase in foot and bike patrol on that corner over the past year or so. That same lazy dog of mine actually recognizes some of the cops now because she has seen them enough. No, they’re not usually out there at night, more the afternoon, but it’s still a presence. They tend to patrol Girard (west of 14th), and down to Fairmont (again, west of 14th).

    I agree OP, I would like to see those guys get out of their car and walk the streets a bit. Ultimately though I am happy with the level of police presence we get (mostly in the car yes, but also on foot/bike). Yeah, those floodlights shine in our windows too, which really does suck night after night, but it keeps crime down so…

    • +1. Thanks, I agree that the police presence is better than none. I just think there is more room for improvement. Thanks for pointing out the increased bike cops, I have not noticed them but have lived there less than a year.

    • I also live on 14th and Girard. I’ve seen the cop that parks in the alley sleeping, walking around, on the phone, doing all sorts of normal, bored person stuff. However, I am also just happy he is there. There is a lot less loitering from the building across from the alley. Sadly, the only time I walk down Girard is during the day, when there is police presence.

  • epric002

    i live in north coheights/south petworth, and see cops on bike patrol regularly, especially in the afternoon/evening. i feel like i’ve been seeing them about 4 times a week lately.

  • I’ve seen quite a few cops on bikes on Capitol Hill, especially after the last rash of incidents in the early summer. Seems more efficient/effective than walking – opportunities for facetime/witnessing, but better able to chase bad guys and cover more ground. I’d think in the car though, they’d be better able to respond to calls.

  • This is the exact location of a recent shooting. Just thought I would point it out that there is reason to patrol, not stare at the screen of a smartphone. http://www.popville.com/2014/04/shooting-columbia-heights-friday-night/

  • DC cops are lazy! Most of the time they are parked and surfing on their smartphones.

  • A cop in Milwaukee rides a skateboard. It doesn’t help him get somewhere fast, but it does disarm neighbors. He can also ollie.

  • The likelihood of a cop being where you need them when you need them is low so who cares what they are doing as long as their radio is on?

    At least this cop wasn’t strangling someone while arresting them for selling loosies or beating someone in cuffs to death…

  • AMEN. The DC police need a top to bottom over haul. They point to stats, but stats are skewed. Talk to people living in the communities and crime is awful. Criminals know they never leave their cars. They run around unafraid. Columbia Heights and District 4 (Bowser’s ward) are the worst. It’s so bad I’ve often wondered if the cops and criminals are in cahoots. Something has to be done!

    • We’re totally in cahoots. As a matter of fact, our unions are thinking of merging. Stronger collective bargaining.

      • How about in-lieu of mocking a reasonable post you provide some insight into what your job actually entails? Can you explain why the officer pictured is glued to his cell phone and not keeping a watchful eye?!

  • When I was trying to help MPD find hammer boy (because I had seen him in Petworth) I emailed an MPD contact and within minutes I got a call from a detective and within 2 hours they had caught him due to having foot patrols in the area, so yes, mobile devices and cell phones are good for cops to have and use while on duty. When you see something, say something.

  • Good comments on both sides. I just moved to Columbia Heights from Logan Circle in March. A couple of perspectives:

    1). Other posters are absolutely right – report crime or suspicious activity to 311 or 911 (they both initially go to the same call center, emergencies requiring immediate response are transferred to a dispatcher). MPD uses that data to target their resources – the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
    2) Know your PSA and reach out to your LT and their Commander. The officers at that level are very responsive in my experience.
    3) On the flip side my one experience at the Sgt level in CoHi has been lackluster. A month after moving in, I realized a vehicle parked behind my building that never moved was actually abandoned illegally. Two calls to 311 resulted in nothing. I reached out to my old PSA sergeant to figure out how to get it towed and he replied almost immediately with two Sergeants in my new PSA. Neither of them ever replied and the abandoned vehicle sat there for another 2-3 months before one day I came home and it was gone (not sure if it was towed or what).
    4) I agree it’s frustrating that I seem to see so many beat cops sitting in their cars on their phones and laptops rather than on a bike/segway/foot patrolling. There could be a good reason for an officer to be on their phone – modern policing involves a lot of mobile communication whether text/talking. It could very well be business related.
    5) You have to give Chief Lanier’s team credit for the huge drop in robberies. I looked up Crime Map data for ANC1A and robberies were down 62% in the spring and 32% so far in the summer. There is a great article in the WaPo this week about innovative tactics MPD is using on that front.
    6) On the flip side, since moving to CoHi, my 8 unit building has experienced 1 theft from auto and two bike thefts. The same data shows theft (not from autos) are up 1/3. Some of this is a matter of educating new residents about being smarter locking bikes and keeping valuable electronics in your control. The other part is getting some MPD assets focused on the issue.
    5) To the several posters who said the OP should go to an MPD Community meeting or their ANC meeting, ok that could get more action. But, it’s also kind of an old school mentality to ask busy people to wait for and invest 1-2 hours to attend an in-person meeting that happens once a month. They are invariably not well-attended and there are more immediate, social, and engaging ways to get community involvement in 2014 than a meeting. The ANC 1A website and outreach is particularly abysmal compared to Logan Circle.

  • THANK YOU for posting this. Here in nearby Mt. Pleasant, our MPD officers, also spend a lot of time staring at their phones while sitting in their squad cars. IN ADDITION, they spend a lot of time sitting in the liquor store at Irving and Mt. Pleasant Street. I too would prefer to watch TV in an air conditioned store than walk the neighborhood, but this is not their job. I hope someone at MPD is visiting here.

  • Hey,

    I was actually working when this post came out so I’m late to the party. Apologies.

    So to have foot beat officers, you would need to have them in addition to the other officers. In NYC, they were called Community Policing officers and they each had a piece of the precinct and could change their tours to handle various conditions or issues. They didn’t answer radio runs and their job was strictly to interface with the community. You can’t just put the officers in cars out on foot. It’s an issue of manpower and logistics. Let’s say there’s three officers in a PSA on an evening shift, if you put one of them on foot, he/she can cover maybe 4 square blocks. If a shooting call happens at the other side of the PSA, that officer won’t get there for maybe 20 minutes. Bikes are better. You can move on bikes, but remember that when its 95 degrees with 90% humidity that cops don’t want to be on bikes. You wouldn’t either.

    As for the phone issue, normal patrol officers don’t get issued phones. We use our personal phones to talk to detectives and call supervisors and yes, look at cat videos. We don’t get reimbursed for that. And to the person that said that reports need to be done after your shift, that’s not happening. Because then I would need to collect overtime, which isn’t going to happen either. You do the reports in the cars on the laptops.

    • …so you are admitting to not doing your job!? Am I reading this correctly?! “As for the phone issue, normal patrol officers don’t get issued phones. We use our personal phones to talk to detectives and call supervisors and yes, look at cat videos. We don’t get reimbursed for that.” You do realize how someone paying your salary (tax payers) might be upset by this, right!?

      • Please grow up, these guys work long shifts, they are allowed a few minutes of downtime, like anybody else.

      • Right. I understand that as a taxpayer, the idea of me doing anything during the 8.5 hours of my day but vigilantly looking for crime would upset you. As a taxpayer as well, I’m more nuanced.

        The car is our office. So if you never buy stuff on Amazon or check Facebook or email your friends while you’re at work, then you’re a better person than me. So if we can be realistic about what people actually do, then that’s a starting point.

      • Anon, who’s paying your salary while you post here? Unless you’re self-employed or unemployed, you realize that whoever is paying your salary might be upset by this, right?

        • Who’s paying your salary while you post on PoP during work hours? Maybe I’m wrong and everyone posting on PoP during the day is self-employed or unemployed, but I imagine most people take a few minutes of downtime at work to read and post.

        • Hey,

          Good question. So if you look at when I post, it’s not between the hours of 2PM to 11PM, or the evening shift, which is not a coincidence. If you’re referring to my posting as a police officer on this forum in general, I would like to think that I am not harming the department by my actions. But there’s clearly a reason I’m not naming myself or where I work.

  • I walked past a cop sitting his his car in that alley 2 days ago. He was playing words with friends on his phone.

  • As a cop in the dc area, we deal with so much shit compared to non city cops. We go from call to call to call, that sometimes proactive policing is just not doable that day.
    Sometimes, we get a few minutes break, where we still position ourselves in an alley to deter any wrong doings, but whip out our phones to check email or txt our significant others so they know we`re not dead, or just chill for a sec and browse popville.
    And there are times where i can patrol an area 3hrs straight and find nothing, and then i park my car and someone snaps a pic saying im just sitting there….?
    Or how bout i just gone done with a footchase and a fight previously in the day and now im just chillin for a bit having some ice cream and yall like “oh thats what cops here do”.

    And the comments about doing reports at the end of shift… Dont tell us how to do our job, we dont post on some website telling you guys how to do yours.
    You do your reports during your shift, its f`in stupid waiting until the end to do it. Theres a whole bunch of other shit we have to do after shift and the next morning. Like when i arrest some guy for stealing your bike cause youre a dumbass using a piece of string to secure it, nxt morning i go to court for that after having maybe 2-3hrs of sleep due to other shit i had to deal with the night before. And then when im done with court, my shift starts again and i get to do it all over again.

    Yeah we`re in public service, but that doesnt mean we need people not doing this job telling us how to do it.
    How bout i come to your job and snap a pic of you chillin, when you should be serving me that mocha cafe vegan latte!

    DC, especially petworth, is a whole lot safer than it used to be. If you want a glimpse of what it used to be like, go move to 7D area and enjoy the dead bodies and gunshots every week.

    In conclusion, dont judge us the one second you see us, cause you dont know all the shit we did / were doing before you decided to make a judgement on us.

    • I’m sorry, but as a police officer you have a public trust. And I’m sure that if you think about it, you can come up with many incidents that would explain why so many members of the public are mistrusting of the police. In a democracy, it is VITAL for the citizenry to keep an eye on the State, because we have seen time and time again that simply trusting the state to use force appropriately leads to bad outcomes. The police watch the public, and the public watches the police. That is the only way this works. If you don’t want to be critiqued by the citizenry, you might want to think about a different line of work.

    • I honestly hope you are not an officer with your language and attitude. Do your taxes pay my salary?! No! Is my job to “serve and protect”!? No, I crunch numbers as a business analyst – no one is going to potentially be injured or worse if I am looking at my phone screen and not my monitor. If you would read my letter to PoPville then you would know that officers are regularly stationed at the exact location in the picture as a “deterrent” yet they do not keep a watchful eye. I am fairly certain that by paying your salary through our taxes, we are entitle to a bit of judgement, especially when we REPEATEDLY find dead-beat cops playing on their smartphones. Perhaps you should consider a career change, judging by your language you cannot be too happy – food for thought.

      • OP, you are unnecessarily dense. Stop it.

      • Please tell me that you never ever take a break on your cushy little white collar job. Even if you’re fresh out of school, you should have some basic sense of what it takes for a human being to function well, and enough imagination to hope that the person responding to your 911 call is as relaxed and alert as possible. Paying your taxes — which all of us, including cops do, does not give you authority, insight, experience, or good judgement. Maybe you should consider doing a ride-along — and hope you survive the night. Food for thought.

        • I don’t think anyone here has contended they are an expert or have insight/experience/judgement. OP and others make a point, as public servants officers are (and should be) under constant scrutiny. Whatever the OP or others do on their job is irrelevant unless they are public servants. I do not see how an officer or anyone checking their smartphone would improve job performance, your comment is completely off-base DCNative.

          • So because you and OP don’t have the imagination to get that :1. The call could have been work related and/or 2. Barring an actual emergency, even public servants (a term I think some of you are taking WAY too far) get to call home once a day — you’ve decided that anything that does not improve the IMPRESSION of job performance in the eyes of someone who likely has no idea what the performance of the job actually requires is a dereliction of duty. Wow. I think that most of you need to do at least one ride along with a cop. Dismissing my comments as “off-base” really doesn’t change their validity. Whatever.

          • Did you read OP’s letter or any of the several (5-6) comments confirming this is a regular occurrence? It was not a call, it was texting over a minute period.

    • Don’t feed the troll. I’m betting that this person isn’t a cop.

      • Anon MPD you are one of the most reasonable people on this thread given the vitriol, ignorance, and entitlement expressed in some of these comments. Thank you for your patience and your service.

  • “Correlation is not causation” is the old saying, so take this with a grain of salt. I saw 2 squad cars parked in this location last night and noticed the officers were ON FOOT outside of their cars. Let’s hope it continues!!

  • Why has no one commented on the fact the officer’s window is rolled up!? If he is on patrol as OP states, wouldn’t having the window partially rolled down be a prudent idea? What if someone is shouting for help?

  • Dude, turn off your flash at night. It always looks terrible.

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