Washington, DC

“Dear Popville,

While I fully acknowledge that even a strong police force can’t prevent all crime, I do expect the police to have at least some deterrent effect. Which is what makes Friday’s armed robbery directly in front of the 4D headquarters so disturbing. Two men, armed with at least one handgun, were able to rob someone in broad daylight and have not been caught as of the next morning. I live nearby, and can vouch that there are almost always cops sitting in a van in the station parking lot, looking out onto the street. For these criminals to feel no fear of being caught in the act of robbing someone at 4 in the afternoon tells me that there are potentially deep problems within the fourth police district.

When two cars were lit on fire and destroyed right behind this police station last month, I told myself that such a thing could happen only in the dead of night, that it was a one-off event, that I shouldn’t draw any harsh conclusions about the state of the police force. Now, I’m not so sure.

I’m also not sure where to go from here. Is this primarily a morale problem that could be at least partly solved by replacing the 4D commander? Or does this speak to larger, more fundamental issues within the police force that need to be addressed from the top down? As a concerned citizen, where should I focus my attention, and my rage?”

Ed. Note: I’ve found the 4D commander, Wilfredo Manlapaz, to be responsive and overall quite good. Having said that, I feel OP’s frustration.


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