Just in case you were skeptical that the new pedestrian safety initiative announced yesterday was real, check this post from the ustreetnews discussion group:

An Open Letter to Jim Graham,

The residents of Wallach Place recently met with you to discuss the need for police patrols in the vicinity of 13th and U. This is due to an increase in the number of break-ins, robberies and assaults on our block in the last few months.

This morning, police officers were handing out tickets to pedestrians, who were on their way to work, for stepping off the curb at 13th and U before the light turns green.

While pedestrian safety is important, is this the best allocation of 3D’s resources at this time? Frankly, this taxpayer would have preferred to see those officers working on the prevention of more substantive crime.

This letter parrots perhaps the most common complaint ever leveled at cops: I saw a bunch of cops wasting their time with [INSERT MINOR QUALITY-OF-LIFE OFFENSE HERE], shouldn’t you guys be solving murders or locking up drug dealers?

Well, for the most part, I call bullshit on such complaints, for the following reasons:

  1. These are cops on the street, who have a crime-deterrent effect merely being out there rather than inside a cruiser or station house.
  2. Unfortunately thanks to the vagaries of the U.S. Constitution and police bureaucracy, it’s not realistic for your average patrol cop to stroll up to your average corner boy and throw cuffs on him, let alone track down violent offenders—-your beef is with the department’s criminal investigations unit, who I’m guessing aren’t the guys sent down to write tickets.
  3. Sorry jaywalkers, but you broke the law—-deal with it.

So I say, hell yeah, keep our boys in blue busy ticketing scofflaw pedestrians.