Wednesday, July 26, 2006

DC Cops News...Libertarian Rant

Whenever anyone thinks I am exaggerating about how idiotic, corrupt and ineffective the DC police are, I never have to wait too long to find a story to email them. I'll be the first to admit that in some cities (like NYC) the police are professional, Hard working and actually catch people and arrest them when they do things like kill, rob and rape people. Then there are the cops in DC. Comparing a NYC cop to a DC cop is like comparing .357 Magnum to a water pistol. It's like comparing a dog as a pet to a fish. I’ll ignore the obvious story about the guy in Georgetown who had his throat slit by a bunch of animals while they attempted to rape his female companion. The tragedy was completely preventable since the DC police had the alleged criminal’s address beforehand. Someone who he had apparently mugged before got a call from their credit card company about someone using the stolen credit card and having things delivered to their house. Although the mugging victim told police that he/she would be able to identify the mugger, the cops never got off their asses to go down there and arrest him. Apparently they were too busy collecting overtime…which brings us to News Item Number two:

Seems that no matter how few criminals you catch, the DC police department can net you a lot of money. “One 40-year veteran police officer, last year worked 2,192 hours of overtime, the equivalent of 6 hours of overtime a day, 365 days a year, according to an Examiner review published Monday. “

So he worked overtime on Christmas and New Years? I don’t buy it. Somehow I don’t think anyone can “work” that many hours, even if “work” consists of sitting in Dunkin’ Doughnuts and stuffing your fat face.

“[cop in question] earned $149,000 just from the extra work. “ This plus his $100,000+ base salary gets him $250,000+ a year. That’s right folks. A donut eating DC cop gets paid as much as the vice president and more than most lawyers in DC. Tell me again about the Police Union is out to help the rank and file police officers.

I think I’m in the wrong business. If I can sit around eating donuts and pull in a quarter million dollars a year, why don’t I join the DC police force? I think all I need is a gun and a lobotomy.


Melissa said...

Truer words were never spoken. Honestly. Now they are on foot in my neighborhood, but when you pass by them, you can hear them complaining. Yeah, I'd be complaining too if I made $90 an hour. Booooo fucking hoooooo. The citizens they are paid to protect (and serve) probably barely make that in a day.

Raincouver said...

Ninja - did the guy from georgetown survive? That's just freakin' abominable, to say the least.

dara said...

I now regret going back to school for the law and master's degrees. Who knew all I needed to do to make $250K a year is eat donuts (which I am preternaturally good at) and learn how to fire a gun?

And this dude with all the overtime is clearly better at keeping track of his hours than I am!

Anonymous said...

Shyste. I'm feelin' ya, Ninja - why should I suffer with a house loan of school debt when I can move back to DC and make bank occasionally handing out tickets to jaywalkers?

Twoste said...

Yeah, but have you ever seen a morbidly obese D.C. cop like the ones you'll see in NYC or Philly? I've not.
And let's back off the cops. Sure they earn a fair amount, but that's so that they can be encouraged to take up residence in the District so as to help build good, erstwhile communities.
Plus, no one else on this comment board would probably be willing to do what they do on a day-to-day basis, dealing with all levels of humanity.
Not that they can't be jackasses from time to time and make mistakes, but let's try and give them the benefit of the doubt more often than not.

media concepts said...

I feel your pain, especially the part about the overbilling overtime cop. We'll have to change the joke from lawyer to cop, where the [formerly lawyer] cop dies, goes to heaven and asks St. Peter, "Why am I here, I'm only 40 years old?" and St. Peter says, "Sorry, but according to your time sheets you're a hundred and two." But why is this a "libertarian" rant? Do libertarians want to abolish the police? I don't think that would make DC any safer for the next Georgetown crime victim. If you're advocating for cops who do their job, focus on stopping crime instead of handing out parking tickets, and stay honest, that's what we all want and is hardly a position that somehow belongs to Libertarians.

JoeyJoJoJo said...

I agree with velvet, I remember listening to two cops in DC talk about being underpaid, under appreciated and overworked while kicking back eating fish n' chips in uniform. I could sympathize with them if they actually nabbed the criminals when they were not on "lunch"(last I checked lunch is not two hours long) but according to the H.I. Ninja, this is not the case.....hmmmmm....

Stef said...

This is a very common theme these days, as the folks on my neighborhood Yahoo group have been arguing back and forth about the efficacy of DC's police force for the last few weeks. I actually don't know much about the strengths and weaknesses of the MPD, and I'm lucky that I haven't had to have any personal experiences with them. But all of the news of the media-hyped DC crime emergency does make it seem like there's a real crisis building here in our city, and as a woman living alone in one of the "transitional" neighborhoods of the District, I'd like to see more well-qualified cops out there on the streets just to make me feel safer. And I don't mean just at 2 am on Saturdays.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

velvet: yeah, nice work if you can get it.

rain: Nope. The guy died. He was a foreigner too, I think that's why they are making a big deal out of it.

dara: most people regret their law degrees.

siryn: I'm with you on that. The only drawback is you'd be a DC cop.

twoste: I think it's messed up that the police chief complains he has no money to hire new officers, but deploys the ones he has to ticket jaywalkers (yes, this is true) and pay others a quarter million dollars a year. Because that fat old cop got $250k, there's 5 new young cops they couldn't hire.

matt: if the citizenry was armed, criminals would be more leery of attacking people.

joey: Yeah, like I said, in some cities cops do good work...but not in DC.

stef: the DC police couldn't even meet their (pathetic) goal of solving 50% of new murders. So Chief Ramsey lowered the number to 40% so that he could claim that they were exceeding their goals. nuff said.

Alejandra Ramos said...

That's just beyond not fair...

mere said...


bloated state bullshit. i'm with you. arm citizens.

m.a. said...

I think that the cops in columbia heights waste money by flirting with girls in front of the giant. They use the german shepards as bait.

Moxie said...

Amen to your post. ;-)

Most of the overtime come from court time. Let's take an average misdemenor / quick felony case whick runs 3 days - uaully only 2 cops will testify, yet they call in 6 cops to sit there for all 3+full days. I even had an officer tell me one time, when they find drugs on the ground they'll always put it on the closet guy who is on probation/parole becuase that's a guy who has to fight the case (court time) vs. a guy would would plea to probation to get it over with. awesome. scary isn't it. With all that said, I still have faith the department is trying to come around. I need to think that.

HomeImprovementNinja said...

alejandra: Yes, such government waste is really offensive.

mere: I agree. I hope they repeal the gun laws in DC. It's the only thing that will make it safe.

momemtary: HA! Yeah, I see that all the time in front of there. Don't they EVER work?

moxie: That's why I don't trust the justice system. It's full of corrupt people. No one is really innocent until proven guilty anymore.

Anonymous said...

I feel like I have to be the contrarian and step up to the plate to defend D.C.'s boys in blue.

First, note the line "40-year-veteran." That's not some snot-nosed rookie. These guys know how to game the system, and if I had to spend my life dodging bullets and wading through human filth, I'd like to get compensated appropriately as well.

Second, I actually met a cop who was working overtime on Christmas night. He happens to be one of my best friends. The stories he's told me about what the D.C. police have to go through on a daily basis would make your hair curl.

Third, if you REALLY want to curb violence in D.C., crack down on the flow of guns and drugs from the surrounding suburban areas. No shit--there was a huge bust of gunrunners in Virginia, based out in Hoodbridge. I'm more scared of hanging out in Occoquan than I am in Adams Morgan.

And finally, for all the the cops around here have problems (and they are many), I'd rather trust a trained professional with a gun than an angry civilian who might not think through the consequences of their actions when they pull steel.

Shorter: Police officers should get paid more than lawyers. The former provides a vital, necessary service, and the latter...well, you tell me, Peter. :)

HomeImprovementNinja said...

martin, at the risk of mixing my metaphors, we could beat this dead horse 'till the cows come home, but briefly:

1) You allusion to trigger-happy citizenry is misleading. Numerous studies have shown that gun ownership decreases crime rates. Outlawing guns means that criminals will know that they are preying on the unarmed and are more likely to rob and burglarize.

2) Should a cop be paid more than a (derivatives) lawyer? No. That's silly. I don't want to be a cop, but there's nothing that they do that I couldn't. By contrast, there are very few people (including other lawyers) that could do what I do. Your clients could care less how hard you try, in the private sector you are paid by results (unlike the public sector where solving less than 50% of murders is okay).

Most people can't even balance their checkbook, do you think that, realistically, they could do my job? Do you think that you, even with a LOT of time on your hands could go through SEC regulations and figure out the correct way to calculate the required adjusted net capital change for a option that is delta hedged with one derivative as opposed to another?

Salaries for work, just like everything else in the world, is determined by supply and demand. I chose a profession where the demand exceeds the supply. I played to my strengths.

Anonymous said...


You're right, we've gone over this numerous times, but let me ask you this:

Do you think you could do a cop's job? I mean really do it? Figure out the circumstances behind a person's death just based on the available evidence? It isn't all just writing parking tickets and eating donuts.

Mind you, by your own admission, you push papers a hell of a lot, and if there's one thing cops excel at, it is paperwork, so maybe the detective might actually be able to do your job. :)

It's a pity we can't do the whole "Freaky Friday" scenario and switch you out with a homicide detective.

On a more serious note, I'm sure your work is valuable to someone and you get paid appropriately for it. But one of the major reasons why our public servants often fare so poorly is because we don't pay them enough. Numerous studies have shown this too.

If we paid the people who protect and help us the money they deserve, I guarantee you'd see a lot more motivation out of them. Not to mention they'd be a lot less inclined to skim off the top through bullshit overtime claims.

Anonymous said...

You're such an ass. Lawyers are such self-importants shits. PS, leave DC. DC has enough lawyers. You are not needed here.