Friday, August 18, 2006

Crime Emergency Declared in DC; MPD Writes Tickets To Pay For It

You may or may not have heard about the crime emergency that has been declared here in DC. The declaration allows the police chief to limit vacations, call officers in, and extend his budget to ensure the safety of the District's citizens. This is in response to a crime wave here that took something like 11 lives in 14 days, along with a rash of robberies and sexual assaults on the national mall itself. Scary times, somewhat allayed by the declaration of the emergency.

So imagine my surprise when I received on my car a ticket, written at 12:30am, in front of my house, for the crime of being "more than 12" from the curb." Now, I don't want to be one of those people who says when their 16 year-old is picked up for drunk driving, "Don't you people have REAL CRIMES to solve?!!" Those people annoy me, as if 16 year-olds driving a deadly weapon under the influence is not a crime, or as if affluent kids should be held to different standards than kids committing "real" crimes. Crime is crime, no matter where you live or who your mommy or daddy work for, bank with, or are related to.

But can we be real for a minute? We have a crime emergency in this city, and you're telling me that a member of the MPD was out in the dark measuring the front wheel of my car to ensure it was less than a foot from the sidewalk? Can I direct his attention down the hill 5 blocks to the drug gangs hanging out in the school yard all night and harassing neighbors? Can I ask him to look a few blocks east to the dudes hanging out on the porches drinking and harassing people walking by? Can I...for heaven's sake!...can I direct him to do ANYTHING but be checking wheel distances from curbs?!!

At the very least, might the supervisors in this area agree that sending MPD out to monitor parking "violations" is perhaps not the most suitable allocation of emergency resources? Because here's the kicker: our sidewalks are so messed up that you could be rubber-to-road against the sidewalk on your back tire and two feet out on your front and still be parked straight. Otherwise you have to mount the sidewalk with one tire, and gee, I wonder if I'd have gotten a ticket for that...

2 comments:

JPjr said...

While I understand the need for enforcement of minor offenses let us not forget the CRIME EMERGENCY!
The chief claims he needs every available officer to combat the surge of violent crime in the city. So naturally, one would expect officers to focus on close patrols of the known drug/gang areas, increase contacts with suspicious persons, target areas with histories of gun violence, and take a zero tollerance stance on violent crime...but NO! Let's cry wolf to mollify the masses, give them the illusion of a response, get extra budget $$$ then continue business as usual. No wonder people don't like DA MAN.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the ol' D of C runs such a tight ship that this is a SHOCKING set of circumstances. Oh, wait...