Yesterday, the Post reported that 17 fired D.C. Police Department officers were being reinstated due to a not-so-minor screw up by the top brass. The officials failed to notify these officers that they would be fired within the 55-day deadline. This deadline is incredibly old news—it last was a problem that was hashed out and debated about a decade ago. This was last a big deal when Councilmember Jack Evans oversaw the cop shop. In hearings, officers complained that they were being investigated and that those investigations were taking way too long. I mean nobody likes a cop sitting around on administrative leave.
So why the department failed to follow that deadline for these 17 is a mystery. In today’s follow-up story, the department isn’t saying.
The FOP is correct—the department violated their own rules. So getting the 17 back on the force required little if any sweet talk.
I’d like to think that getting me on TV required a lot of sweet talk. One of the 17 was fired over what he did to me. It’s a boring story so I don’t feel like telling it. He just dumped my personal info on the web. Anyway, his return meant reporters calling me for comment. My boss has a rule: reporters should talk to other reporters out of courtesy. I still thought I was a hard sell. Here’s how they all sold me:
Fox-5’s Paul Wagner: This serious, long-time journalist called me more than 10 days ago. His pitch was simple: He knew everything about my case, and the cases of others. He was also first on the story. It was his scoop. So I obliged. He let me pee before I went on camera. When I told him there was no way he was going to film my cube, he was cool with it.
WJLA’s Sam Ford: He called twice. First time, he left a message. Second time, he got me. I told him I was busy and that I couldn’t do it. His approach: He got angry. It would only be a minute, he said. I could tell he was on deadline and just needed something. But I wouldn’t budge. I told him I’d call him back. I finally said yes.
WUSA’s Bruce Johnson: As soon as I took his call, he started in with detailed questions. Finally, I had to ask: “Is this on the record?” He had me! Johnson, you are a pro!
So watch out for these guys. They are good at what they do.