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Last night just up from the fire station at 14th and Newton Streets NW, a police cruiser en route to a call for service sideswiped another car and tumbled into someone’s yard. When I arrived, police tape blocked off everything—including the sidewalks. If you wanted to get to the Red Derby, you were stuck.

When I saw the police cruiser, I actually exclaimed: “Oh My God!” and “Holy Shit!” It looked real bad. The cruiser didn’t look like a car anymore.

Surrounding the cruiser were a lot of functioning police cars—more than six at least. So what? Well, I am writing to report about Assistant Chief Diane Groomes.

Unlike most cops who have worked the yellow tape, Groomes actually talked to the citizens who had pooled at the edges of the scene. She explained to us in detail what had happened. She told us one cop had broken both his legs and another had been taken in for X-Rays. She was calm.

Groomes didn’t yell at us rubberneckers to move along. She didn’t bark unnecessary orders. She actually was kinda cool. I hope other cops follow her lead.