Even when sleeping, Baltimore Police
are "ever on the watch."
By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.
The Baltimore Police Department, with it's many problems, scandals and public relations disasters, has a new issue to deal with. Police officers caught-on-camera, sleeping on the job.
Several recent incidents, captured on smart phones from citizens, have created a flurry of buzz in the news and on social media. However, cops caught sleeping in cars isn't exactly new, nor unique to Baltimore.
Incidentally, the picture below, of a Baltimore Police officer sleeping in his car, was taken just blocks away from MacArthur Media world headquarters. Although I didn't take the picture, I easily could have. I've actually seen cops sleeping on that exact parking lot on Greenmount Avenue, the infamous "Corridor Of Death."
What Were They Thinking?
Besides risking getting disciplined, or even losing their jobs, a cop sleeping in his car is really taking a huge chance. To be honest, I wouldn't be caught dead sleeping in a car there. Or perhaps if I did sleep in a car there, that's just how you'd find me. Dead! Much less as a cop, and with the window open.
Keeping it real folks, we're talking Baltimore Police here. There are many criminals out there, who given the right opportunity, would gladly take a shot at a cop. Those guys caught are truly lucky the only shooting taking place near them was with a lens and not a barrel.
"Let me make it perfectly clear – this is unacceptable and those found sleeping on duty – be it by a supervisor or the public – will be held accountable." Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts
Worlds bravest cop?
Besides the worse case scenario of getting shot with a gun, there are many other things that can be done to a cop, fast asleep with the window down. I'll let you use your imagination to think of the kind of pranks a teen might play.
Do Your Damn Job!
After having had numerous negative encounters with Baltimore Police, for doing nothing else than trying to shoot video or take pictures in public places, it's interesting to see this current phenomena take place. Right now, as we speak, there's all kinds of folks prepping their gear and on the hunt, to catch cops doing stupid things. Trust me on this, take my word for it.
In one of my last encounters before coming of the street. I dealt with a cop more concerned with me and my camera than he was with criminals. I had to remind him of why he was out there and I told him to "DO YOUR DAMN JOB!" Apparently, Baltimore Police Commissioner Anthony Batts shares my view on things. He makes his thoughts known in an internal email, issued to the department, and leaked to The Baltimore Sun, Batts is pretty clear.
Yes Commissioner, we're indeed on a "'photo-opportunity hunt' for officers neglecting their duties." Only because the citizens of Baltimore deserve better.
"Earlier this week, an officer was publicly ridiculed on television when a citizen took a picture of him sleeping in his vehicle. Tonight, another story will run with additional photos and videos citizens have taken of our officers sleeping while on duty.
Let me make it perfectly clear – this is unacceptable and those found sleeping on duty – be it by a supervisor or the public – will be held accountable. Sleeping on duty is not only an egregious violation of the public trust; but a serious safety issue. I never want to have to officiate over a funeral or visit the hospital because a felon walked up to a car with a gun rather than a citizen with a smart phone.
I know you are working harder than you may have ever possibly worked before and the hours have cut into your personal lives. Know that I am extremely proud of the excellent work you are doing each and every day.
Please – look out for each other. If you are tired, get out and talk with citizens in the neighborhood – they are obviously out and about. Supervisors be supervisors – lead from the front! Ensure your officers are engaged at all hours of the day.
There is no doubt this additional media attention has created a 'photo-opportunity hunt' for officers neglecting their duties. If you thought we weren't under the microscope before, take heed – we absolutely are. And in the name of every officer who has worn this badge with pride, and those who have died wearing it, do what is right – stay alert, be safe, and take pride in the work we are doing for the citizens of this City."