Thank you for your article on D.C. cops (“The Insider’s Guide to Real Policing,” 8/16). To most of D.C., calling the police is not an option. By the time they arrive, if they ever do, it’s already over and done with. It has been my experience that one would have to travel to some foreign countries to find police less interested in doing their job.
I saw this firsthand as illegal documents were openly sold right outside my Adams Morgan apartment building for years. The men did this with impunity, spending their day smoking joints, drinking beer, and harassing women in between sales. Complaints to the police and D.C. Councilmember Jim Graham produced little to no action. Despite the occasional trumpeted busts, I can say that I saw no reduction in the activity during the five years I lived here until after Sept. 11. We owe Osama bin Laden more credit for finally getting the job done than our local government.
The robbery of Madam’s Organ is yet another example of this attitude of “Don’t bother us with your problems.” The owner might as well not have asked for help. I could name more instances, but it would just make me angrier.
The police do not have an easy job, and I do not believe that all officers are inept and/or lazy. The community needs to support these men and women in their anti-crime efforts. First, though, we need a force that is committed to fulfilling their job description, not marking time until the end of the shift.