Police Week

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.

34 Comments so far

  1. Jenn L (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

    THAT explains the ruckus of motorcycles tearing around last night… I had my window open and nearly jumped out of my skin.


  2. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 5:31 pm

    That also explains the numerous out-of-jurisdiction cars taking up all the parking by union station today.


  3. darpino (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

    I hate Cop Week. When I used to live a block from the Police Memorial at 4th and G a lot of out-of-town cops would run roughshod and very drunk all over the neighborhood. Everybody deserves to cut loose but they shold think about leaving their badges, guns, and ammo at home while they do it.


  4. Don (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

    Most of the cops I have known would shit a brick at being compared to highway patrol. Damned funny choice of clips, Paolo.

    It’s a disgrace that ‘professional courtesy‘ keeps local fuzz from putting the smackdown on drunken clowns carrying their weapons around. They’re almost certainly breaking the law in almost any jurisdiction.


  5. pissed off and tired (unregistered) on May 15th, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    Why the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial doesn’t take into consideration nearby residents, our lives, and early work and school schedules while deciding to host an outdoor party with loud music baffles me, but it has to stop.

    Sunday evening May 13, 2007 – Party (and music) ended at 2:00am, sharp

    Monday May 14, 2007 – Party (and music) ended at 12:45am, sharp

    Tuesday May 15, 2007 – How long will I be awake? It’s 11:40pm now.

    If anyone has input on how to file a complaint/talk to someone/petition/write letters for ACTION to take place to stop this, please post!


  6. Tiffany (unregistered) on May 16th, 2007 @ 2:33 pm

    It’s not the NLEOMF who throws the party- according to policeweek.org, the parties are sponsored by the DC Fraternal Order of Police. In other words, the parties are sponsored by the people responsible for enforcing local noise ordinances. Good luck. ;)


  7. Doug (unregistered) on May 17th, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

    Did anyone else get caught behind the motorcades running south on 395 to the Mark Center Hilton on Seminary Rd this past weekend? I did (I also live off of the same exit). There were at least 30+ police motorcycles and a couple police cars escorting a single 20 passenger van EACH TIME. I’ve seen smaller escorts for G.W. Bush around town.

    I’m glad that the organizers of Police Week are trying to show the visiting police officers a good time… but slowing/stopping traffic on the interstate just because you can is pushing the envelope.

    Granted, I am a little biased based on another experience during Cop Week 2005 at Irish Times relating to some females who were in our group that were harassed the second we walked into IT (we didn’t realize it was cop week nor what we were about to walk into). The police who were drinking in IT were relentless.


  8. leosupporter (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 12:17 am

    The 20 passenger vans in the motorcade were not filled with police officers. They were the survivors of officers killed in the line of duty last year (Parents, siblings, etc) They were being escorted from the host hotel to the memorial. Please dont let a few out of control and loud officers give the rest of us a bad rep…. some of us do come to DC during police week for the right reason – to pay tribute to our fallen co-workers.


  9. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 8:10 pm

    I was one of the cops at Police Week. I got drunk, I got loud, and yes, maybe even a little out of hand. For 360 days of the year we, police officers, are the people who put our lives on the line protecting you, the citizens of this great country. 145 of our brother and sister officers died last year keeping criminals from robbing, raping, and murdering you. I apologize tht we we got drunk, I apologize that we were loud, I apologize that we disturbed your sleep, I apologize that we blocked your traffic and made you late or walk another block to park your car. But, the other 360 days, I responded to every time you called me. Everytime you needed me, I was there. Every time, day and night, rain or shine. In being there for you, I missed kissing my kids and wife goodnight, I missed birthdays, school plays, parties, family reunions, holidays, and “normal life”. For this, protecting you, I was cursed at, spit on, slapped, punched, and kicked. Let’s put this into perspective. Is knowing that there are people willing to die protecting you for the rest of your life worth a few days of inconvenience? Is it worth hearing some loud music, pipes and drums, and drunk police officers for a few nights? Is it that bad? If you really think it is, so be it, I apologize again. I’ll still be there when YOU need ME.


  10. Paulo (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 8:29 pm

    EmeraldCop, does the oh-so-heartbreakingly noble sacrifice of police life also justify the two women raped by visiting cops last year, a homeless man I know beaten on the sidewalk and his belongings strewn all over the street, the women relentlessly harassed in bars near the Memorial this year, cops threatening a Georgetown restaurant owner with guns when he went after them for not paying the bill in 1996, and a cadet raped by an officer in a hotel in 2003?

    The big party isn’t just a matter of noise and inconvenience; it’s about cops committing crimes, driven by exactly the same sense of arrogant entitlement you have just so embarrassingly displayed here. When Police Week comes around, I fear for the safety of some of my friends in the presence of rowdy, partying off-duty cops, and your tirade makes me wonder how many of them think they’re entitled to commit crimes in exchange for fighting crime.


  11. Mike (unregistered) on May 18th, 2007 @ 8:51 pm

    I like how Emeraldcop talks about all the time he missed with his wife and kids because of duty, and then for his week off he comes to DC to get “drunk, loud, and yes, maybe even a little out of hand”.


  12. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 4:35 am

    Paulo, you are completely correct. The tragedies that you cite are heinous crimes and the officers who committed them need to be put in prison for the maximum allowable sentence. I do not advocate nor condone any of the actions of those officers; they dishonor all police officers and bring shame on our profession. Please remember that 99 percent of the officers who do come to Police Week are honorable men and women who do deal with the “oh-so-heartbreakingly noble sacrifices” I listed. There are around 50,000 police officers who come to DC to celebrate the Police Week activities. As in any group, a small percentage bring discredit to the many. But what of the remainder? Should you condemn the rest of them? I certainly don’t feel any arrogant entiltlement because of my profession. I am no more “untouchable” than you. I have seen the same things happen at non police activities, where is your self righteous outrage regarding the crimes commited at those events? Your sanctimonious sermon rings hollow, my friend. We are all human, and we all are capable of doing things we may regret. Regardless, I’ll still be there when you need me.


  13. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 4:46 am

    Mike, guess what? My wife WAS there with me. She was also drinking, loud, and maybe a little out of hand. She’s also a police officer. And for the record, I guess your idea of drunk, loud, and out of hand may be different from mine! Seems like we both think that being with family is important. At least you’re concerned about me spending time with her! Funny how you and I might not be so different…


  14. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 2:50 pm

    EMERALDCOP ranks himself along with the “99 percent” of police officers he considers honorable. But he doesn’t have any problem admitting he was loud and a “little out of hand” while visiting our city. And that’s the problem. We who live in this city don’t believe a career choice gives anyone the right to disobey our laws for 5 days while the rest of us respect them for all 365. Is EMERALDCOP under the impression that his career choice has given him the right to disobey our laws? He seems to think that the type of behavior he displayed in my neighborhood was OK because it allowed him to blow off steam. I appreciate he has a tough job and that he will continue to respond to my calls. But I have to ask him, do you have a choice? Isn’t this what you get paid to do? It seems your asking for a pat on the back from us in DC but I have to tell you, I lost a lot of sleep this week and I did not appreciate the way you and your colleagues disrespected the residents of DC. I’ll tell you what EMERALCOP – the next time I need to blow off some steam let me come over to your front yard with a few of my friends and let me keep you and your family up all night with my friendly banter. I’ll make sure I bring some bag pipe players along with me.


  15. InThePublicEye (unregistered) on May 19th, 2007 @ 9:59 pm

    I know the resident who videotaped the handful of visiting officers breaking the DC drinking laws.

    I have been allowed to post a video showing these officers “blowing off steam.”

    You can view the video on YouTube.com at the link below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMv8WHMpOsU

    The resident turned the tape over to Chief Lanier, who has started an investigation into the lack of response from DC MPD. Commander Burke with DC MPD stated the officers would be identified and the information will be turned over to their respective jusrisdictions.

    The resident has a meeting with the top brass of MPD, ABRA, DCRA and EMA to discuss the matter.

    There have been attempts to discredit this resident, who happens to be a retired EMT with over 16 years of service to the public.

    The resident also has unreleased video of DC MPD sitting in and standing beside their patrol cars while these out of towners were breaking the DC laws.

    If you agree changes must be made to the way DC MPD responds to calls form taxpayers regarding any group causing a disturbance and you are tired of the same old same old response from DC MPD and the rest of the city officials, we ask you view the video, leave a comment and send a message to

    inthepubliceye@gmail.com

    ALL complaints received will be sent to Chief Lanier and to NBC 4 Tom Sherwood and Jackie Bensen, who are committed to following this story.

    To the Thousands of Officers, Survivors and Families who came and mourned and showed respect to the residents of DC, Thank You for your service and sacrifices.

    Ignoring the facts does not change the facts.


  16. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 2:23 pm

    I don’t think we are commuicating effectively. Is it acceptable to go INSIDE a bar and get drunk? Yes. Is it ok to go to a desinated area, that is fenced off and access controlled, and APPROVED by the DC powers that be (all permits and fees paid) and enjoy a party? Yes. Is acceptable to stand in the street and scream and yell and drink? No. Now, I have seen over and over, the terrible plight of the homeless in DC. I have seen drunk, screaming, mentally disturbed homeless folks in DC every time I’ve been there. Where’s your outrage to that DC?? Stop being so hypocritical. Also let’s define “out of hand” shall we? I was inside a “designated bar” the entire time. Out of hand meant that I was singing loudly along with the songs and cheering, and when I walked back to my hotel, I was drunk on a public street. Not drinking in public, not waving my gun around, not harrassing women, screaming at people, or urinating in public. You say we officers choose our jobs, you say we have no more rights than any other citizen. Well, why the double standard? If we have no more rights than anybody else and we’re just like everybody else, then stop holding us to higher standard than everyone else!! You can’t have it both ways!! I flatly state that the terrible things that a VERY SMALL percentage of officers did should not be a blanket indictment of all officers who attend Police Week. I make no excuses nor defense of those officers who committed those despicable crimes. However, you have a raging drug abuse and murder epidemic running rampant in your city 24/7/365. Do you demand investigations and cry to the city council and mayor and police chief when some screaming drunk vagarant gets shot to death by crack dealers? Let’s try to put this in perpective DC.


  17. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 20th, 2007 @ 8:09 pm

    I’m glad you did your drinking in a designated area and inside bars. You get a pat on the back for doing what you’re supposed to do. All I’m saying is that I wish more of your fellow officers had done the same. It’s not normal to have gangs of drunks out on the street yelling and screaming until 4 in the morning. Your fellow officers that behaved badly received a pass from the Metro police. It’s a pass most of us who live in the city don’t get. What would be your normal reaction if you witnessed this behavior during the 360 days you’re obeying the law and doing your job? I would hope you would put an end to it. We’re just asking the Metro police to do the same. The other social issues you bring up are a very real part of DC and we hold our politicians accountable for helping to find solutions to these problems. They’re called elections. Also I’m sorry you’re held to a higher standard but that’s the nature of your job. You can’t exactly ask the general population to obey the laws while going around breaking them. Can you? I think it’s called accountability. If you have a problem with that part of the job, maybe you should seriously start reconsidering your career choice because that part of your job isn’t changing.


  18. Don (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 9:33 am

    I have seen drunk, screaming, mentally disturbed homeless folks in DC every time I’ve been there. Where’s your outrage to that DC?? Stop being so hypocritical.

    Are the mentally ill street-dwellers who beg for change really the yardstick you’re looking to measure up to?


  19. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 10:56 pm

    I have been attending Police Week since 2000. I think what may be causing the noise problem is that the area where the beer tents were set up has moved further and further away from the memorial each year. Being close to Judiciary Square is an ideal place as there was nothing but goverment office buildings in the area. But due to myriad issues, which I profess complete ignorance, the beer tent area has been pushed further away from the memorial and into more residential nieghborhoods. I don’t know why it can’t be moved back to that area so we have a much smaller impact on the local neighborhoods. I’m sure this would be some help.

    Don, that’s brilliant. Wow. Just when we getting some really intelligent discourse.


  20. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on May 21st, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

    Is it too much to ask for the annual convention of law enforcement officers to abide by the laws they’ve sworn to uphold?

    I don’t think so.

    I know we all need to cut loose, Emeraldcop, and I know how hard it must be to be on the police force, but that’s no excuse for setting a poor example for everyone who looks up to the police officers of the world.

    Don’t disrespect our city’s laws just because you need to cut loose.


  21. Don (unregistered) on May 22nd, 2007 @ 10:32 am

    I’m sorry emeraldcop, but I don’t count “why are you bitching about this when there’s these other worse things” as intelligent discourse. I would never in a million years ask an officer “why are you hassling me when there’s REAL crime to fight?” and I expect you wouldn’t think much of it if someone said it to you on a traffic stop.


  22. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

    What I find offensive by this thread is that there is a consistent stereotyping of all officers who attended the Police Week activities. We were not all waving our guns and badges around, abusing our police powers, raping and molesting women, stealing from restaurants, and rampaging through the enitire District of Columbia. Yes there were, and are going to continue to be, problems during Police Week. I wish it were not the case but there are, and always will be, bad apples in our society. These terrible incidents are abberations, DC, not the norm. These are not the typical behavior of the 50,000 officers that attended. These are isolated incidents that do not typify the actions of the overwhelming majority of the officers in attendance. If DC MPD officers stereotyped a particular group of people in this way, you would scream “PROFILING” and demand investigations.
    To be truthful, when I hear about not being able to find a parking spot and traffic delays and parties that end at the legal closing time, yes, it does sound like (using your words) bitching. Oh, and I never swore to uphold any DC laws…but as a responsible CITIZEN I do so; not because I worry about arrest, but for my own sense of self respect and dignity.


  23. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

    I think part of our anger should be directed towards the DC police. EMERALDCOP is right in that it’s only a small percentage of the officers visiting the city that behave badly. The majority are here with their families and enjoying the sites. But that small percentage can really make us all miserable. The DC police could put an end to all these problems but instead they choose to ignore it out of sense of brotherhood. During this time, they turn their backs on the people that pay the taxes that put their uniforms on their backs. I had a Florida police car parked for 4 days outside the loading area of my building. It wasn’t a big inconvenience but every time I walked out of my building it was like a big F U sign being waved in my face. You would think with 50,000 officers in town, just one of them would point out to these guys how they’re making all the other officers look.

    EMERLDCOP – There is nothing wrong with drinking. I enjoy throwing back my brews just like you. But the beer tent should be shut down in the evening hours (if it isn’t already). All the events you have during the night (FOP event in the parking lot) should be moved to the convention center. That’s what the place is for. It is just my opinion.


  24. Tom Bridge (unregistered) on May 23rd, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

    “Oh, and I never swore to uphold any DC laws…but as a responsible CITIZEN I do so; not because I worry about arrest, but for my own sense of self respect and dignity.”

    You, as a citizen, are required to abide by our laws, but many of your brother and sister officers refused to do so. Why?

    Worse, this feels to me like, “Oh? Laws? Fuck your laws, they don’t apply to me. Fuck upholding them because I wanna get drunk.”

    Yeah, doesn’t work like that.


  25. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 11:12 am

    Before you throw DC MPD completely under the bus, I was at the Irish Channel Bar on the night of the 14th. I did see MPD officers issuing tickets to people sitting on the other side of the street (near the church) and drinking. I KNOW that they did issue multiple tickets. I saw 9 officers and a Lieutennant there at one point and there were always at least three officers ready to nab anybody who came out of the bar with alchohol.
    Not to be accusatory, but, I’d like to know how many of you were actually there? I saw the videotape, and a poster here described it accurately as “the handful of visiting officers breaking the DC drinking laws”. (I met the lady riding around on the segue, and she is NOT a police officer, she’s a local resident.)I think that many people are getting caught up in the “hype”. Most of the things brought up on this thread are events that happened some time ago, some as far back as 11 years ago. As you know, I do NOT condone or minimalize those crimes that did occur. But I think people are getting the impression that most of this happened this year.
    As for the FOP beer tent, it was in a construction site. The DC FOP lodge tries hard to find a place that will least impact the residents of the city. Remember, the FOP had all the permits and paid the fees to have that party and anybody can apply for those permits. There was no special treatment in the issuance of the event permits. One poster stated:
    Sunday evening May 13, 2007 – Party (and music) ended at 2:00am, sharp
    (***Note: Notice the poster said “SHARP”, isn’t that compliance of the laws? Not 2:05, not 2:30, not 3:00, but 2AM SHARP)

    Monday May 14, 2007 – Party (and music) ended at 12:45am, sharp
    (***Again, note, 12:45am “sharp”, the permit was issued and allowed the party until 2am.)

    Tuesday May 15, 2007 – How long will I be awake? It’s 11:40pm now.

    The FOP shuts down that party at the time mandated by the permit, 2am, and even shuts down early other nights. They will NOT serve any alchoholic beverage to any officer that is armed. They do an amazing job of regulating the amount of people there. Please remember that these tents were set up to keep the officers in one place, away from public view, and not to disturb the citizens.
    I would like to work with the residents of the nieghborhoods around the memorial to find a place where we can least disturb you. We do need to remain close (walking distance) to the memorial, but certainly we understand and appreciate your concerns. Let’s work together, so we can have our party and you can have the peace and quiet. Let’s stop bitching at each other and start finding solutions. Also, you are not excluded from any of these events. Please join us and experience the parties and memorials. It might change your view of Police Week and the officers who attend.


  26. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

    I live a few yards away from where your FOP event was held. It may look like a construction site but alongside the construction are condos and apartment buildings. I live in one of these buildings and my bedroom window faces your event. If the FOP had any respect for the residents, they would have stopped the event earlier than 2 AM. Instead they kept everyone in my building up all night with bagpipes and music blaring out of loudspeakers. I again ask you how you would react if we did the same thing in front of your home. The event was over at 2 AM on Sunday and I heard bagpipes playing outside my place until 3:30 AM as the drunks were dispersing back to their hotels. Where was the DC MPD? They were parked outside my building not doing a thing. The same thing happened on Monday and Tuesday. By the way, is there any reason these bagpipe players find it necessary to announce their arrival and departure by playing in the middle of the street?

    Permits should never have been granted for this event. I predict next year there will be even more complaints and something will have to give. Right next to me, two huge condo buildings are near completion. By the next Police Week, people will have moved in and I suspect they won’t be too happy over your event especially with the amount of money they’re shelling out for these condos. The FOP is not taking into consideration that the neighborhood is changing rapidly. A few years ago you didn’t have that many residents near the memorial. All that has changed and it will continue to change. You guys need to adjust, not us.

    Not only should the DC MPD be thrown under the bus, the bus driver should backup and run them over again. If they gave a few tickets out on May 14th, then I say they didn’t do enough. And if you say you were at the Irish Channel and you didn’t think there was a problem with the way people were behaving, then you are either in denial or you’re letting the brotherhood thing cloud your observations.

    I lived next to the Irish Channel for 3 years before I moved to where I am now. Each year it was the same crap. Out of town cops hollering and drinking in the streets outside my apartment during Police Week. Last year, the DC MPD had the bright idea of closing 5th and H on Saturday and Sunday to allow you guys the pleasure of regaling us with your bagpipe parade until well past midnight for two nights. For 4 nights, there were drunken out-of-town cops hanging outside my window. When you tell them to shut up, they wave a badge at you.

    The only solutions I see is that the DC MPD enforces our laws during Police Week; the FOP events are moved away from the neighborhood or short of that, close at a reasonable hour; and you guys monitor your fellow officer’s behavior. Stop covering up for them. You’re right that it’s only a small percentage of cops behaving badly but a small percentage of 50,000 is a huge number when they’re concentrated in just a few blocks.


  27. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 5:38 pm

    Well, that’s all well and nice. We’ve been holding the events there for 19 years, and now you just moved in and WE need to adjust. You paid very handsomely for your place and I can understand why you are upset and I am sympathetic. But after offering to work with you, your only “logical” solution is to kick us out completely. Typical NIMBY syndrome. I like your fair mindedness, you’ve been there a whole 4 years total, we’ve been there for 19 years , and we need to move away from you. Switch places here and see if that seems reasonable to you. We have been moved further away from the memorial every year I’ve been there, and it was being moved before I started showing up. We have been moving. Every year the FOP is told they need to move, and they do. They don’t complain. But you people do. As long as it doesn’t affect you, right? I bet you wouldn’t have any problem if we were in a low income neighboorhood instead of your posh high rise condo area. Just make sure it doesn’t affect YOU, right?
    And let me tell you something about the “brotherhood thing”, pal. I went out and apologized to the MPD officers that were there. I told them that I appreciated the position they were in, having to police the police and about “violating” that “brotherhood thing” and having to arrest another officer. I thanked them for what they were doing and tried to shake their hands, but I was nastily rebuffed in a very insulting manner that I found highly unprofessional. So don’t think that MPD is protecting us.
    I’ve been trying to be fair, not judgemental, and unbiased; looking for a solution amenable to all of us, but to hell with it. If DC MPD arrested every single one of the officers that was there, you would find something else to bitch about. If we ended the party at 5 pm, you’d whine and say noon. If we stopped the FOP party entirely, you’d cry about too many of us in the local bars and sitting in “your” stool. If we didn’t come to DC at all, then you’d bitch about all the money we no longer spend in your city and your taxes going up. I bet you don’t complain about all the screaming, rowdy, violent, special interest protests and marches that seem to happen in DC every day. But if it’s cops it’s a total violation of your rights. Just admit it, you don’t like cops. You’re the guy who pisses and moans at the officer who gives you a ticket when you get caught going 75mph in a 55 zone, but make complaints of “where are the police?” when somebody breaks into your house. You are the guy that votes down a police raise, then screams that police aren’t doing enough when you become a victim. You typify the the pompous element in our society that only cares about themselves and thinks that they are morally superior and have the right to pass judgement on everyone not conforming to your idea of what is acceptable.
    Since you don’t want to work with me, so be it. I’m learning to play the bagpipes and I sincerely hope I am ready to go next year. Any requests? You will probably win and get us moved again, so I’ll make sure to play it loud-so you can hear it.


  28. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 6:53 pm

    You’re a funny man. You come into our city for 5 days out of the year and you expect us to roll out the red carpet for you. I don’t care if you’ve been coming here for 19 years; I’ve lived here for 15. This is where I live, not where I vacation. I pay a fair amount of taxes and that gives me a say on what happens in this city. And if the majority of people in the city feel the same way, where’s the problem?

    You have a lot of nerve talking about me feeling “morally superior”. I don’t but it does sound like you do. For some reason, you feel that you deserve something from us.

    It’s funny how you can’t admit you guys just plain behave badly when you come into town. You want to deflect the argument by mentioning the homeless, the flag burners, my moral superiority, and whatever else you think supports your argument. You just can’t bring yourself to say anything bad about those people you saw at the Irish Channel. But the bottom line is you and yours made our lives miserable for 5 days.

    Despite what you think, I don’t hate cops. My feelings towards cops depend on how well they’re doing their jobs and I wouldn’t have a problem if they received raises. Maybe by paying them enough we can get a professional group of law enforcement officers who don’t bitch and moan because they’re not feeling the love. I appreciate the risks of the job but I didn’t force anyone to take the job.

    By the way, the next time you’re at the Irish Channel, stay away from the barstool next to the taps. It pisses me off when someone is sitting there. And you better learn to play those bagpipes loud because if I have my way you’ll be playing them in Richmond, Virginia. I suggest you learn to play “Dixie”. I hear it goes over well in them parts.


  29. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 24th, 2007 @ 8:59 pm

    Ok, Moises, this is the last time I’m going to to explain this. I guess I used too many big words because your teeny little “All About Me” brain has not been able to absorb what I’ve been saying.

    1. It’s obvious you don’t care. Unless it affects you, that is.

    2. I don’t expect a red carpet.

    3. I AGREE with you that there is reprehensible (sorry, I forgot to go slowly, B…A…D) behavior by officers at Police Week.

    4. Those officers should be punished for their actions by MPD and their own departments.

    5. You are stereotyping.

    6. You are not a majority of the population. (sorry to be the one that breaks it to you friend, but your opinion isn’t the only one)

    7. I want to TRY to come to a solution that requires more brain cells than “GO AWAY”.

    8. I do have a lot of nerve. I need it to keep from going insane listening to your constant repetition of the reprehens…sorry, B A D, things that happened.

    9. Trust me, I don’t want a thing from you. I don’t even want you to shut up. I don’t even want you to get run over by a bus…but I wouldn’t be upset.

    10. You do have a tendency toards moral superiority (I think it’s closer to delusions of grandeur)as you feel you’re qualified to judge how well somebody elso is doing their job. I think you would be mighty upset if I judged your job performance. I am surprised you haven’t corrected my grammar and spelling.

    11. Your last statement says it all. Not In Your Back Yard, but screw those people in Richmond, they’re just a bunch of Dixie playin’ rebel rednecks. (I think your moral superiority is showing)

    12. Police Week isn’t going anywhere. Come next May 15th you’ll see me sitting in your stool. I really don’t care if it pisses you off, seems like everything that happens to you does that.

    13. I’d like to talk to someone who wants to try to help. Can someone who lives in the area find, or know of, an area close to the memorial where we could have our beer tent and not disturb the people in the area? I don’t mind pissing of Moises, but the rest of you seem like decent folks. Let me know if you can help us help you. Thanks again.

    14. Oh, before I forget, I want to apologize to the author of the blog for all the crap. Thanks for letting us comment on the bad actions of some of the officers at Police Week.


  30. InThePublicEye (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 1:37 am

    I am actually meeting with DC MPD, ABRA, DCRA and EMA to discuss the options for police week.

    Emeraldcop, I agree that there needs to be a middle ground and I for one am actively trying to work towards it.

    You do have to understand the frustration we feel at the situation and lack of support, responsibility and response from our DC MPD.

    I live on 5th St. and I have a 19 month old, who did not sleep for 3 nights, nor did I. That is after we spoke to some of the organizers and were told we would only need to rent a hotel room for Saturday night, which we did at our expense to let you have the street and do what you want to do, within the laws and confines of the permits you hold.

    There are families living in the downtown sections, where things are held. If you have kids, you know what a lack of sleep can do to the little ones, and after 3 nights it is then compounded into trying to get them back on schedule.

    I think everyone would agree, we are not asking for much.

    1. Respect the parking situation. It is limited enough, without out of town PDs parking illegally.

    2. Respect the neighbors in those areas, where you want to hold events.

    **Is there an absolute need or vaild reason for starting a bagpipe parade at 12:45 AM?

    Especially, when the same parade can be held at 12:45 PM?

    3. Don’t hang out below residential windows screaming obscenities at 1, 2, 3, and 4 AM. I do not see that behavior as mourning or celebrating a fallen officer’s life.

    4. How about meeting us half way down at the FOP and shutting the party down before 2 AM? Just because you can get a permit up until that time, does not mean you have to use that entire time.

    5. Unless you have a closed street event, don’t drink in public. And please do not piss on the church steps.

    There are ways for everyone to meet in the middle.

    What we have had happen year after year after year is smoke being blown up our collective behinds about our city officials working towards meeting the organizers for NPW in the middle.

    I am frustrated at the promises being broken, and now we as citizens need to ban together and hold their collective feet to the fire. It pisses me off that we have to resort to videotaping the DC MPD NOT doing their jobs, in order to get any action.

    I think the purpose of NPW is honorable, and needed to heal the emotional trauma in your community of LEOs, although it will never be completely healed.

    However, there are ways to do all the things you need to do, within reason and with keeping the residents in mind as you carry out the memorial, celebrate and mourn.

    If you really want to meet us in the middle, take these 5 requests back to your people and ask them what they can do to work towards reaching the middle.

    As of today, we have not seen too much respect on that end, because the SAME problems keep happening year after year.

    I would like to hear how you plan on helping find the solution, so we can actually take it to the table where it is not an all or nothing deal.

    Because from where I sit, and from the meetings I have had so far, the event is in jeapordy, and that would be a shame, as it is an extremely small percentage of officers behaving this way. But, that small percentage is causing us the headaches and we are not seeing anyone within the ranks trying to curb or control them.

    What else are we supposed to do to get the peace and quality of life we want and work for?

    I have opened up the discussion, participate.


  31. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 8:57 am

    EMERALDCOP – I apologize for my flippant remarks regarding the bus and the DC MPD, my bar stool at the Irish Channel, and most of all my remarks about Richmond. I wouldn’t wish you guys on anyone (just kidding). They were meant to be taken in jest. In the same way you probably meant your remark about learning to play the bagpipes.

    The truth is the FOP event in the parking lot will eventually have to move. It may not be next year but eventually it will move and it won’t have anything to do with me or my neighbors. That spot is prime real estate and my understanding is that a building is scheduled to be built on that spot. There’s too much potential financially for it not to be developed.

    The city is changing and buildings are going up everywhere. This isn’t the same city it was 19 years ago on your 1st visit. Back then, it was all charred and boarded up buildings. What you guys were able to do back then doesn’t fit with how the city is now. It’s not your fault. It’s not anyone’s fault. We just need to learn how to get along during Police Week.

    The 5 solutions proposed by INTHEPUBLICEYE seem reasonable and would go a long way in helping the situation.


  32. EmeraldCop (unregistered) on May 25th, 2007 @ 8:42 pm

    INTHEPUBLICEYE: I truly apologize for the way the organizers of the event treated you. I cannot believe that their response to you was to get a hotel room. I am dismayed that they would be so callous to tell you to leave your own home. That is truly disgraceful and uncaring. If they have not, I hereby apologize. I don’t think any officer wants to force you from your home. Also, can you forward me any contact information regarding the planning and oversight of next years NPW events? I certainly would like to join you there to help in any way I can. This problem will best be solved when both sides are fully involved, and more importantly, committed to resolving all of our concerns. I think your suggestions are a positive start to getting everyone together and behind NPW ’08.

    MOISES: It is I who owe you an apology. I should not have let this degrade to personal attacks. Unfortunately, I was not kidding, I am learning to play the pipes! I was vehement in responding, then later I realized that there was no way that you could possibly know that I live in Richmond. I am in full agreement with you, the movement of PW activities is no ones fault, and I hope you join in helping with the resolution of the problems. I look forward to siting not in your stool, but next to it, and buying you a pint. No need to wait until next May to do it!

    ALL: My lingering concern is that no matter what we do, there are going to be idiot officers who enrage the community, and community member who are going to complaining if somebody farts too loudly. Unfortunately, this is human nature, and I hope we can all realize that these will be isolated problems and not a condemnation on the entire fate of NPW activities in DC. I truly hope that we can get to the Ivory Soap phase of this discussion, where we are all 99 and 44/100ths satisfied.

    When I invited people from the area to attend some of the events, I was serious. Maybe with some interaction between the attendees and the comunity we can come together. I will propose an effort to have a Community Appreciation Party to be hosted by us for the local residents. I think some of the problems you have are that you have never recieved any thanks or apologies from us for coming into your nieghborhood. You should be given thanks for having us, and apologies when when we cause problems.

    Just a word on he 12:45am parades. I will admit that I was part of one the night of the 14th. I will treasure the memory and never forget it for the rest of my life. I had participated in the offical parade earlier. These un-official parades are usually brought about by the emotion of the moment. They are spontaneous and unplanned. They are certainly not designed just to play music loudly and march down the street. Let me share with you why the one on the 14th happened.

    I was still in my kilt and dress uniform when a New Jersy State Police Pipe Major announced that the widow of a NJ State Trooper was here. He wanted a group to escort her down to the memorial. Since I did not have any pipes, I stepped up and offered her my arm and told her it would be my honor to walk with her to the memorial. I never met this woman before. I had never heard her late husband’s name, nor how or when he was killed. But I was NOT going to let her walk down there with no one by her side. The look of gratitude and sorrow in her eyes almost made me cry. She clung to my arm and refused to let go. Others fell in, and with the Pipe Major leading, the pipers and drummers formed up and we marched down to escort this widow to see her husband’s name engraved on the wall. We solemly marched around the Memorial and got to her husand’s name. The piper wer off to one side and beagn to play Amazing Grace. There was not a dry eye there. The waves of emotion that crashed into all of us is impossible to understand without experiencing it. I thought I understood, but until I actually experienced it, there is no way to imagine how it affects you. The worst problem with the families of fallen officers is that the day their loved on is buried there is a huge outpouring of support. There are thousands of officers in their dress uniforms and white gloves, police cars with lights flashing and motorcycle escorts, pipe bands and rifle salutes, honor guards and flags, but when the funeral is over, they families are left with being completely alone. No more escorts and lights, no gleaming medals and crsip uniforms, no bands playing; no, only a folded flag to accompany them to a now emptier home. So when these widows and and widowers, fathers and mothers, children and family come to see a name on the wall, they will NOT walk alone. They may have lost a husband, wife, son, daughter, but they will have a huge family to stand beside them forever. That’s how these late night parades start. You may hate me for it, but I am proud to have been there and I will not apologize for marching down the street that night. The way that woman hugged me and cried on my shoulder told me that marching down the street with pipes and drums was 100% absolutely, unequivocably, and perfectly acceptable.

    I look forward to working to make this a better experience for all of us. I hope we can put these differences aside and come to some common resolution. But I will fight with every tool in my power to keep the DC powers that be from banning Police Week activities. Thanks for your help.


  33. Moises Lopez (unregistered) on May 26th, 2007 @ 3:25 pm

    We’re just going to have to agree to disagree. There can be no common resolution to this problem if you’re saying this 1 AM parade was acceptable. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a moving story and I realize everyone was swept up by emotions. Although I suspect these emotions more than likely were fueled by alcohol. I just fail to see why this outpouring of sympathy for this widow couldn’t have been done during the daytime hours. Please don’t tell me that my reaction would be different if you weren’t cops. My reaction would be the same if the people doing this type of thing were protesters or the homeless. But even the flag burners and the homeless know when to call it a night. No one is asking that the city ban all police week activities, just these extraneous nighttime activities.

    This parade also left a lasting memory with us. This memory only fortifies our resolve to hold our elected officials accountable for stopping this from happening next year. Residents in this neighborhood shouldn’t have to move their families to hotels just to get some peace and quiet during police week. I fully support the daytime activities but I just can’t bring myself to condone what happens at night.


  34. InThePublicEye (unregistered) on May 27th, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

    Emeraldcop,

    I am a retired EMT and have served beside LEOs all over the country for 16 years. I have lost EMTs in the line of duty and attended the funerals of fallen officers. I know what it is like to walk around with tears in your eyes for days. I know what it entails to hand over a flag to a widow with small children.

    I totally “get” what everything is about, and I understand what you are saying about those left behind. It is true for the LEOs, EMS and our service members all over the world. It moves me that there are support systems in place for the families, as there should be. I know what it means to “take care of our own, as no one else will.” Been there, done that.

    I also agree with the other residents in the area. The city has pushed for years to develop the downtown area into a more residential district. To my last count there are about a dozen new condo buildings and apartments going up, with about half having new residents before the next NPW.

    Now that we are here, pretty much at their request, by allowing the buildings to go up, we face new problems. The goal is to find solutions and not break into a screaming match, while we fling dirt. That has never been my intention.

    The 5 things I listed are not absolute solutions. There has to be more from our loacl government. We have the local ANC groups starting the process of working with the Irish Channel and some of the other bars to work out Voluntary Agreements, which are directly linked to their ABC licenses, to assist in keeping the noise levels and crowds under control any time there is a special event.

    The problem is not as much as a logistic problem as it is an “attitude problem” with a small precentage of out of town officers. In my humble opinion, until the attendees, such as yourself, start pulling those guys in and saying, “no way are you going to do this and disturb the residents that live here,” there is not really going to be a solution.

    I have been accused of targeting cops. Not the case, since NPW has been over, there has not been one incident of drinking on the street, pulling alcohol from the back of vans or any of the other behavior seen those nights the NPW was happening.

    We have “Rolling Thunder” in town, and there has not been one problem. If I am not mistaken, that crowd is much bigger than the NPW.

    Based on what we see, we as residents in DC, must force our DC MPD to then act in a more responsible manner and start issuing citations or making arrests. I don’t want to see NPW taken away, I only want to work towards a reasonable solution and that takes everyone being at the table.

    If you are looking for a starting point to start working with us, I would suggest contacting the FOP for DC, the organizers for NPW, and ask them to include a letter discussing the area now being more residential as part of their registration process.

    I am not sure if there is a way to include a “code of conduct” as part of the registartion or not, but it is a thought. Contact other FOPs or if there is a National or Central LEO organization to use, as a way to get a letter out.

    When I was a Captain of the EMS for one area, anytime there was an out of town conference, my staff had to sign a specific agreement with me, as to the expectations regarding behavior and the actions they would face, if there was any misconduct. Trust me when I say, those conferences have seen the same kind of misconduct and there were times I had phone calls and letters of compliants waiting for me about 30 minutes after my guys hit the conference hotel.

    I did not accept it as part of “letting loose” nor did I let them get away with it, as they were representing our entire department, and locality even when they were in their civies. After the first year of the contract, there was never another complaint regarding my staff, because my guys knew they faced me when they got home. I probably was not very loved for it, but I was very respected by the community, the other organizations and even my staff.

    If you are serious about fixing this we would like to hear what else can be done from your side. I appreciate the apology and take it as a serous attempt to join the discussion. Thank you for that, and I do look forward to listening to what you have to say.

    Be safe out there!



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