By Wyatt Earp | April 4, 2007
There’s only one way to describe this policy: idiocy.
The Philadelphia police department’s top brass begin patrolling the streets themselves tonight. Captains, chiefs, even the Commissioner are out there are part of a beefed up presence to help curb the city’s rising violent crime.
Commissioner Sylvester Johnson gave officers a pep talk at the 25th district in Kensington before getting in his own car and hitting the streets himself: “I’m going to be out there at least once or twice a week until I retire.”
Oh, that’s swell. Now I feel more secure. By the way, the Commissioner’s car is unmarked. He won’t exactly be making car stops and answering calls for service. He’ll just be getting in the way.
And so will 40 other top commanders who usually sit behind a desk, like Chief Inspector William Blackburn of the Narcotics bureau: “It’s important to get back out on the street and remember why you became a police officer, to be on the street with line officers.”
“A suspect today doesn’t hesitate to pull a gun on a police officer. The officers of today are facing a lot more difficulties than I faced ten, fifteen years ago when I was on the street.” (H/T – KYW)
Did everyone read and understand that last statement? Most of these “bosses” haven’t been on the street in over a decade. That’s ten years for those of you who live in Alabama. Can you imagine the results for such a plan? These commanders are not familiar with patrol policies. They are not familiar with today’s criminals, and they are not familiar with the neighborhoods.
What happens if an officer needs immediate backup, and no other cars are available? Are the bosses going to come to their rescue? Of course not. To be honest, many of the bosses in the Philadelphia Police Department never did a whole lot on the street when they had the chance. Many of them studied their asses off, and quickly climbed the promotional ladder. And the few who did bust their hump on the street are now so out of touch that they wouldn’t recognize hard work if it bit them in their ever-expanding asses.
I’m sorry, but this policy will do nothing to fight and/or deter crime, and it may get some officers hurt. The commanders should stay in their lavish offices where they belong.