You could say that Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer Wayne Stancil commutes—or patrols—from his home office. Each morning, the 15-year MPD veteran fixes breakfast for his kids and sends them off to school. Then he heads off to work.
Stancil punches in for the day by placing a call to his higher-ups at the 1st District precinct. He lets them know that he’s headed out for a jog. When he gets back, Stancil rings the 1st District again. He then settles down for a light lunch, maybe a tuna fish sandwich. After enjoying his lunch, he patrols his house, vacuum cleaner
“I’ve been doing so many chores,” Stancil complains. “I’ve been overdoing it. I just try to spread it out….You wind up vacuuming maybe twice the same area in the same day. It’s because you’re so wound up needing something to do.”
This is hardly the patrol service area you think the MPD would assign to an officer esteemed by many as one of the beleaguered department’s finest. As gang coordinator in the 1st District, Stancil directed a 15-person unit that made 78 to 100 arrests per month last year. In his spare time, Stancil also lent his hand to the district’s homicide unit, putting 5 cases into black last year.
But when it came time to testify about his cases in D.C. Superior Court, Det. Stancil was not as diligent. After the MPD implemented a hard-line policy on court absenteeism last fall, the department fired Stancil for seven court no-shows. Though Stancil insisted he had been excused from appearing by district attorneys involved with the cases, the department held firm.
An MPD personnel foul-up brought Stancil back on the force. Its personnel review board panel had 55 days to review Stancil’s termination. It failed to take action, and the MPD put Stancil back on the payroll Jan. 14.
The lead investigator on the panel, MPD Inspector Abraham Parks, says he himself is now up for a 15-day suspension because he failed to review the Stancil case in time. He says he was notified of the mistake by Sonya Proctor, who was then supervising MPD’s human resources division.
Stancil’s future with the MPD is still “pending,” says MPD spokesman Sgt. Joe Gentile. Until the department figures out his future, Stancil is an officer in name only—he has no badge, no gun, no credentials. And that puts him in a difficult position when he makes the occasional court appearance. “Even the outlaws know I’m back,” Stancil notes. “They can see me going through the front door through the metal detectors, and they know I don’t have a weapon. I’m a target, basically….It just gives you a clear picture about how the department doesn’t care about their officers.”
William McManus, commander of the 1st District, says he doesn’t know when or even if Stancil will get back on the streets: “I really don’t have any information on the guy. I know him, but I don’t know him. If the department sees fit to bring him back, then I want him back.”
Stancil believes that the waiting game is MPD’s way of forcing him out. “The police department has put me in a very peculiar spot,” he explains. “I’m allowed to go to court and testify as a police officer [but do nothing else] because I’m back on paper, and paper only.”