And So Police Week Begins

police week

“Dear PoPville,

Police Week sure is annoying. [this year’s official NPW dates are Sunday, May 15, 2016 through Saturday, May 21, 2016]

MPD is great and works with our neighborhood on a lot of difficult issues even when some of their bosses downtown can’t get their heads out of their butts. But even MPD must be annoyed at the knuckleheads our Cities’ Finest choose to send to Police Week. I feel bad for Chief Lanier; at least this time, it’s not her fault.

I wouldn’t mind a cathartic “Out of Town Police Behaving Badly During Police Week” PoPville photo contest. As usual, there will be plenty of opportunities to see it this week.”

67 Comment

  • Nothing makes me appreciate MetroPD like seeing the alternatives.

  • The illegal parking is a pretty blatant abuse of power, but a friend who volunteers at HIPS once told me Police Week is also legendary as being the biggest business weekend for sex workers of the year. It attracts people from all over the region. Demand is particularly high, allegedly, for transexual workers. It is also the most dangerous/violent weekend for sex workers.

    • Hmm… heard that the biggest week for sex workers was the annual dentist convention. I think I believe you about police more than dentists.

    • Not surprising at all, unfortunately. More than half these guys are in serious need of therapy for their emotional issues. But instead, we give them the power of life and death and tons of taxpayer funded toys.

  • I hate Police Week so much. Over the years, we’ve seen cops walking around with their badges out with alcohol in red solo cups, cops from outside the DC/MD/VA area walking right through the metro emergency exit doors without paying the fare, and parking their SUVs in front of bus stops and in other no parking areas.

  • Crap. Just this morning I was thinking about how much police week sucks and wondering when it will begin. I look forward to navigating illegally parked drunken cops on my way to and from work.

  • I saw all the cop cars today and thought “oh no, it’s police week”. Nothing like getting sexually harassed on the street by cops in uniform.

  • Ugghhh. At least I’m out of town Sunday and Monday. This is the first time I’ve lived within city limits during Police Week. I feel like blasting Beyonce from my porch all week long.

  • In contrast to all the negative comments this post will generate, I would just like to say to all the officers from around the country gathering in DC this weekend – THANK YOU! Thank you for risking your lives and your family time, and putting up things most of us can’t even imagine, to keep us safe. If any of you are reading this, just remember that all the people posting snarky comments from behind a computer screen would never have the courage to do the things you all do. Please know that most people appreciate you and what you do.

    • I’d have a much bigger appreciation if most of the cops who come for this event didn’t disrespect their host city with blatant disregards for the law and the citizens who lived here. Courageous job does not give anyone the right to treat others like trash.

      • @skj84: This. So much this. We can appreciate the tough and sometimes dangerous job police have while still wishing they would respect the host city and 1) pay their fares if they ride Metro, 2) refrain from parking illegally, 3) refrain from sexually harassing women on the streets, 4) avoid public drunkenness, and 5) obey the freaking laws.

        A police officer’s badge does not give him the right to break the law and act like an asshole.

      • guess it’s a week citizens get a little taste of what cops deal with daily… But cops realize it’s really just a small percent that represent the city in a negative way… Just as its a small percent that will represent LEO’s in a negative way…. Amazing what this city does tolerate and yet ……

        • Amazing what this city does tolerate and yet……..we expect the people who enforce the laws in their own city to maybe respect the laws in this city. OH MY GOD THE HORROR!!! I really don’t think that is asking too much. If it is asking too much maybe they aren’t fit for this line of work.

          Furthermore if the LEO’s are so willing to break the law in this city I shudder to think of what they’re capable of when they’re wearing the badge in their city.

    • +1

    • People can respect and appreciate what police officers do, but also take issue with them willfully breaking the law. Its not mutually exclusive.

    • SouthwestDC

      You’re right– I wouldn’t have the courage to act like a jackass while representing my profession.

      • Exactly — and not only because behaving so unprofessionally and unethically would actually have repercussions for me at my job.

    • I don’t think statements like “Police Week sucks” and “Thank you for risking your lives to do a job most people wouldn’t do” are mutually exclusive. I think most people can recognize that cops do risk their lives and have to put up with an enormous amount of stress, but ALSO recognize that there is a large contingent of cops who, when given the freedom in a setting like “police week” will behave poorly. And let’s not forget the bad apples who behave in a downright evil way, abusing their power and creating an intense amount of distrust, even among populations who have not traditionally had a reason to distrust them.

    • I think you can simultaneously admire and be grateful to police and still expect them to behave politely and lawfully.

    • You know that it’s possible to simultaneously appreciate the legitimate work that police officers perform, and also condemn the illegal and antisocial behavior committed by some of those same officers, right? And calling out abuses of state authority does not diminish legitimate state authority? And that failing to call out abuse of state authority is what allows the abusers to maintain a culture of corruption that allows them to act without fear of penalty?

    • all the cops I know and respect won’t, and don’t act like many of the participants of police week.

    • Yeah, some cops are good, some cops are bad. Just like some people are good, and some people are bad. There are some bad cops who come here and view our city as a place to get so publicly drunk that they defecate on the street in front of a bar (my husband saw this a few years ago in front of Billy Goat Tavern at like 6pm), then you are one of the bad ones and I’m going to call you out. And that’s putting aside the much larger issue of cops murdering citizens.

    • F that. I appreciate MPD and think DC cops are generally fantastic. But Police Week attracts the sh!ttiest of the sh!tty cops from around the country and represents everything that’s wrong with policing in America. The public display of drunkeness, entitlement, sexual harassment, etc. reliably on display for the duration of the event should be an embarrassment to any good police out there.

    • No. Police week isn’t a representative sample of police. Even the OP points out the hard work police do. But anyone who’s been in DC for a while knows that Police Week isn’t about the “cream of the crop” of constabulary honor. It’s…whatever the opposite is of that. These are the guys with enough tenure to spend their local FOP funds partying with their bros in DC. They get drunk. Break laws. Sometimes break things. And when they leave we (and MPD) all breath a sigh of relief.

      For example, the pledge of the Blue Knights in the post is to “work at all times to improve the relationship between the motorcycling law enforcement community and the general public.” Blocking fire hydrants so you can illegally park your damn motorcycle trailer isn’t improving any relationships. It’s not “official police business.” It’s putting another jurisdiction’s public at risk and abusing power to violate laws. And it erodes a lot of the work MPD is doing to build trust with the DC public. That’s not just disrespectful to the public, but to other POLICE. No, screw these guys.

      To draw a comparison that someone’s inevitably going to make: I’m extremely grateful for our military, too. But if some Lt. Colonel decided to just ignore laws for a week because she thinks we should thank her harder for her service, she would very quickly be a former Lt. Colonel. The police equivalent, however, will just have a good story to tell Sheriff Arpaio when he gets home.

    • I think Beyonce said it best: “Anyone who perceives my message as anti-police is completely mistaken, I have so much admiration and respect for officers and the families of officers who sacrifice themselves to keep us safe. But let’s be clear: I am against police brutality and injustice. Those are two separate things.”
      You can appreciate the position these people and their families are in where that officer may be placed in danger on a daily basis, but it doesn’t mean we can’t or shouldn’t hold them to the same standards (if not higher standards) we are held to by the law as civilians.

  • I’ve now had several days in a row of ridiculously huge motorcycle brigades traveling to and from DCA to escort god knows who. I had to leave yesterday because the engine roars were too constant to do work.

    Never thought I’d prefer Rolling Thunder to anything, but here we are.

    • Seriously, between this, Rolling Thunder and the Rock and Roll Marathon, there are a few weekends to get out of dodge.

    • They’re escorting families of fallen officers whose names are being engraved on the memorial this year.

  • At least it’s already Thursday.

    • Ahh, but Police Week hasn’t even officially started yet — it begins on Sunday.

    • Nice glasses. I feel like I saw them for the first time today and have experienced them at least 1,000 times already. I must Internet too much.

  • Can someone tell me, what is the purpose of police week? Is this like attending a national conference to discuss public safety? Last year I saw police vehicles from out of state parked illegally downtown on H Street, NW. W the citizenry couldn’t do this without getting a ticket. Don’t get me wrong, I support law enforcement, however, some act like Frat. boys in college during police week.

    • The law enforcement community uses the week to pay tribute to officers who fell in the line of duty over the previous year. There’s a very moving service where they add the names of the fallen officers to the Police Officers Memorial at Judiciary Square, often with their families in attendance.

      Then a large number of bad apples disrespect that somber goal by rumbling around town, getting drunk, and parking their vehicles literally anywhere they want to. Often all three at once.

    • What they say is that it’s to honor fallen cops. However, their behavior consistently does an incredible dishonor to their memory. It’s basically cop spring break. I’ve been avoiding 12th street all week on my commute because a group of them operate an open bar out of the back of an illegally parked motorcycle trailer every year.

    • To Dan, National Police week is five days of events to remember the fallen from the previous year. I believe in Wedesday there was a ceremony adding the new names to the LEO memorial, most cops show up in their dress blues, and next of kin of the fallen are normally there receiving awards. (This takes place at judiciary Square. To my knowledge it is the only memorial in the city that adds names every year. It’s a very somber experience). The rest of the week has events that are normally fundraisers for charities that help families of the fallen from the previous year. There is also a 5K, on Saturday that the proceeds that go to Officer Down Memorial. (Who is trying to get funding to build a museum for law enforcement in DC) Now, while the vast majority of officers that are here come to celebrate the lives of our fallen. You are all right, some of them take this as a vacation to an extreme. Just like y’all, it drives me nuts, it not only makes them look bad, their department look bad, and my loved profession look bad. The first year I was on the job, I went to “tent city” and won’t go again. Most people at tent city aren’t MPD officers, it’s all out of towers. Overall, during the day and the candle light vigil are amazing and powerful events. But, it drives me nuts seeing how some of these officers act. And, on a side note, next year go to the candle light vigil, it’s a very powerful ceremony. Hoped that helped Dan!

      • Thank you for explaining the purpose of police week. I am sure there are some sexual hook ups amongst the police officers do to officers getting drunk and horny. Believe me, when people start drinking and having a good time like at the yearly Christmas party, they might be a few hook ups sexually like on the ABC series, Scandal. LOL

      • If the MPD really cared about how they behave, they’d actually arrest or ticket some of these yokels for their most egregious behavior. This is just a lot of talk.

        • See you’re assuming we don’t do anything because you follow every single drunk cop around to see if they are dealt with. Every year, MPD and other agencies in the area do their job, regardless of who they are. But, there are more people visiting than there are of MPD to deal with and then answer all the other radio runs that the citizens call in. So yeah, some of these idiots don’t get caught, but so does citizens in this city too. Because we don’t have the numbers, nor do we want to lock up the world. Every year, in roll call we are reminded about this week and there’s always a handful of arrests by MPD making other cops defendants. Don’t speak about something you don’t know the whole answer.

          • Thanks for your input. It makes sense that any event drawing large numbers of people to our city is going to stretch your resources.

            Would it be helpful for residents to notify you and perhaps the home police department of illegal behavior? If I see an illegally parked police vehicle, would it be helpful for me to take a picture and either email it to you or Tweet you and their home police department? You might not be able to tow them, but can you ticket them?

      • Heads up– I always love seeing your comments on here. It’s great to hear from a MPD cop in a forum like this.

        • Britany- taking that as a compliment, and you’re more than welcome. I like sharing, because the brass have a job to sugar coat things. As a resident, I believe y’all deserve to know what is really going on. And Annon- so what you’re saying you want law enforcement to go back to “broken windows” enforcement. I mean, if that’s what you want email your ANC commissioner and the Chief.

      • Thanks for all the hard work you’ll likely put in this weekend. To be honest it’s the hardworking good cops at MPD who have to manage this whole situation that I feel the worst for.
        As you say, there will always be a few bad apples. But there’s a widespread disregard for laws among pretty much all the LEOs in town that’s just a little gross. It’s 5pm and I just walked up 11th Street NW by MetroCenter. There was a several block span where the rush hour lane is occupied by police trucks, all of the nearby bus zones are blocked, etc. As a result traffic is at a near standstill and buses are stopping in the middle of the street. That’s not a few bad apples it’s nearly every cop there. And it’s that entitled sense that they are above the law, and that their need to park their truck should supersede the rights of an entire city of commuters that’s so maddening.

        • And I hope all of those vehicles get or have gotten tickets. That isn’t okay, and if I worked in that area I would head over there.

          • Well glad to hear it’s not official policy at least.
            It would be nice if the Police Week leadership told people not to behave like a-holes in the first place.

        • The only officers who get a pass to park illegally is MPD and even that’s a bit of a gray area. There isn’t an emergency any of these out of town officers would need to respond to, so they’re THE PROBLEM. If I see one, I’m going to wreak havoc on it. I’ll call 311 and get the vehicle ticketed and towed. Take pictures of it, and share it with their hometown officials. This will help put an end to this nonsense.

  • Just checked, the candle light vigil is actually tomorrow night. Go check it out, starts at 8pm. Also here’s a link for the schedule.

  • I try not to put them all in the same bucket. It’s the young hothead macho muscle bro cops from the NE that are the worst… NY, PA, all those NJ townships. The state trooper from Wisconsin is not likely causing too many problems.

    • Other than parking in the rush hour lane or bus zone, riding their bike on the sidewalk downtown, etc.

      • Oh, come on, it’s just about every day I have to watch out for someone riding a bike on the sidewalk. And more than once I’ve nearly been hit by a bicyclist. I’ve also seen them blocking intersections and running red lights. That’s not from out-of-town cops but from people who live here.

  • Serious question: is Police Week a white cop thing?
    The MPD is actually the most diverse PD in the country and has one of the highest residency rates (i.e. the cops actually live here). My interactions with MPD lead me to believe that they have little in common with the bro-cops who populate this event from the surrounding states. MPD is much more diverse than the lily white meatheads that drive down from PA, NJ, NY and the southern states to come here to get drunk and spend taxpayer funds. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a POC police officer during the legendary bar crawls.

    • You are correct that MPD is one of the most diverse departments in the country. But are you implying that MPD also has a high rate of officer that live within the city? Because if that’s what you’re saying, that is completely wrong. I believe under 10% of the department lives in the city. I’d even guess probably under 3%. And from what I understand, everyone that is here, is on vacation time and everything is paid for by their respective unions. So, taxpayers are not paying for them to be here. At-least from the officers I’ve spoken to.

    • I’ve wondered the same thing.

  • This photo is on my block. These guys in particular stay at the nearby Washington Plaza Hotel every year and set up lawn chairs on the sidewalk, drink beer and mixed drinks from red plastic cups beginning at about 2 PM daily, and leave their garbage on the sidewalk, street, & curb–including but not limited to those red plastic cups, food scraps from whatever takeout they’ve gotten, and cigarette butts.

    Thanks to commenter, Donne d, for including the email addresses of their organization. They’ll have a photo album from me to peruse of their visiting officers by the week’s end. Or maybe I’ll post it on their FB page:

  • I have no problems with the out of town officers getting drunk, just like civilians do every night, or weekend downtown. The problem is they love to flex their police muscles, and flash their badge, if they’re not already wearing it on “proud display,” or even worse, in their uniforms. Everyone likes to have fun, and let loose, but when you’re representing something, and are here on your local taxpayers money, you still have to represent.

    The parking is complete bs! They should be shuttled in, but what should we ever expect? MPD doesn’t even enforce illegal church parking, so why should they do it for their fellow officers.

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