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The Accidental Police Commissioner

By Wyatt Earp | October 30, 2007

Philly Police Commish Sylvester Johnson: “What, me worry?”

Apparently, my boss is already enjoying his retirement. Except that he hasn’t left the job yet. Ducks don’t get any more lame than this guy.

The city’s top law-enforcement officer says Michael Nutter’s proposed “stop-and-frisk” policy would be a “disaster.”

Outgoing Police Commissioner Sylvester M. Johnson said that the presumptive mayor’s promise to invoke the more aggressive law-enforcement strategy would undermine the community rapport that Johnson feels he has developed in six years as police chief. He said the next commissioner “is going to have a problem” with discontent – or worse, civil unrest – if the goodwill is undermined.

“What Nutter is saying – this stop-and-frisk is going to be a disaster,” Johnson said in an interview with The Inquirer. “What he’s saying, too, is that he wants a police commissioner to be harder. Well, harder on what? . . . Do you think locking people up is making a difference?

Oh, not at all, boss. I think keeping gun-toting thugs on the street is the way to go. Do you believe this guy? Okay, we’ll just stop arresting everyone. You hear that, Philadelphia? There are no more laws. The police will stop making pinches. It’s Thunderdome! If you read a little further, you get this terrific wisdom nugget from Johnson:

“It’s not that I’m easy on crime,” he said. “I’m fair and compassionate toward people. I have been that way my entire life, and have no intention of changing.” (H/TThe Philadelphia Inquirer)

And that, sir, is why you are one the worst police commissioners this city has seen in years.

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