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I hope Jason Cherkis got a kick out of writing his cover story on the D.C. police (“The Insider’s Guide to Real Policing,” 8/16), because I certainly didn’t get a kick out of reading it. I’ll state my bias up front: My boyfriend is a Metropolitan Police Department sergeant who works 80-hour weeks, sleeps two to three hours a night, is in court all day, responds to calls when he’s off-duty, and makes arrests. Lots of them. He is intelligent, respectful, hardworking, and brave. When I wake up in the morning, he is often gone, and I check my voice mail to hear the message he leaves me so I don’t worry about whether he got shot while I slept.
I have had occasion to meet a lot of D.C. police officers. Without a doubt, many do not work as hard as he does. As in any profession, there are slackers, and there are those who abuse their positions of power. And there is no question that the police union makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get rid of people who don’t pull their weight or are guilty of misconduct. But many D.C. police officers work hard, conduct themselves professionally, and put their lives at risk every day to protect the residents of this city.
Cherkis’ attempt at satire, which might pass as clever from a college sophomore, is an insult to all of those people and to the memories of those who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Because Cherkis does nothing but take cheap shots and make snide innuendoes, he contributes nothing to the public’s understanding of some very difficult and challenging issues. Pointing fingers is easy; finding solutions is hard. How, exactly, should this city create a more responsible, effective police force? Cherkis makes a lot of lame jokes, but he doesn’t make a single concrete, positive suggestion. His invitation to join the force was meant to be satiric, but perhaps he should take himself seriously. He clearly feels comfortable denigrating the people who have chosen this profession, but does he have the balls to do it himself?
A police department is only as good as the people on it. If Cherkis is as concerned as he claims to be, maybe he should sign up. But I suspect the city’s streets would be safer if he stayed snug behind his desk.