Kilts and bagpipes abound, and you’ve surely noticed cops driving in from everywhere, garbed in various modes of dress uniform, mingling with the standard crowds of tourists at the sights. It’s Police Week in Washington, DC, when policefolk from around the country converge on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial at Judiciary Square to commemorate their fallen comrades. At right, a short video I took of some of the parade that came down New Jersey Ave NW and turned on to E St NW toward the Memorial. Kilts and bagpipes make everything awesome.
The ironic down side to all this police presence is that they’re not here to fight crime so much as to kick back, drink up, and party hard; so the nights of National Police Week are often reminiscent of a series of Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations, but with lots more motorcycles, drag racing, and firearms. This old Boston Globe excerpt from an email archived on a humor site refers to Police Week as “law enforcement’s version of spring break,” highlighting the hijinks of an especially boisterous group of NYC cops in 1996:
…they set off fire alarms and slid naked down the beer-soaked railing of a hotel escalator. According to Georgetown Cafe manager Jamil Manna, 29, the cops were drunk at 4:00 a.m. when they flashed their badges so he would give them a table quickly. After eating, they ran out, with Manna at their heels.
Manna jumped into a cab to chase them, but the cops hailed the very cab Manna was in. When Manna confronted them, one officer showed a gun and threatened to “blow Manna’s brains out.” D.C. detective J.C. stamps said the incident marred festivities that were otherwise peaceful.
If you need me tonight, I’ll have my head covered in about two dozen pillows to try and drown out the noise of the rowdy hellraisers revving their engines and drag racing up and down North Capitol Street, like they do every single year for National Police Week. Party on, America’s Finest.