Friday, February 15, 2008

Policing the Inner Harbor: Get In On It!

Well, what can one poor ole retired cop on fixed income say about the performance of Officer Sal down at the Inner Harbor interacting with and messing with the teenage skateboarder. For sure, it makes police in general look bad, and especially for us Baltimore Police retirees out here in the mean, real world trying to make a living-whether by getting or keeping full or part time jobs or running small businesses.

Buz has already learned that some higher education institutions do not want ex-police on their campus security forces (with exceptions). And in any case it does not seem to be good public relations.

Buz had a similar, but less violent, run-in with Sal when I was a supervisor on the evening shift in security at a famous Baltimore institution. Sal was working in uniform off duty for the organization. I could not raise him on the radio for more than an hour. When I finally met him he was arrogant, nasty, and rude--just like on the video. He refused my request to check a building, and said he didn't care if he couldn't be radioed, and he could care less about me even though I was the supervisor on duty. He then blew cigar smoke in my face while he smirked. He said that if I had a problem with him, I should take it up with the organization, since he works for the organization, not for me.

My boss didn't want to do anything, even though Sal had acted the same way with him a year before. He didn't want to offend Sal or any of the other police that were working there--he needed their guns. (See my earlier blog post.) It's a shame when many businesses and schools in Baltimore feel they need the hired guns of the BPD because of the nature of the crime in the city. Thus, he had to be coddled, not fired. I left the organization a couple of weeks later. I learned yesterday that Sal is no longer there.

Poor Sal. I hope he learns to deal with his anger and hate.

I assure the readers that the vast, overwhelming majority of police try to do the right thing most of the time. Yeah, sometimes some of them lose it with suspects, but it's a stressful job and we have to view that in the context of that compassion without tolerating behavior which was too much. Sal had several times when he could have walked away, but kept coming back to have a few more words to say.

I was taught that police really cannot put hands on people with certain minor exceptions unless you're arresting them. And I guess Sal missed that training. I read that he later calmed down and did talk to the kid's mom and gave the skateboard back.

I see, because of this video, a lot of anti-police venom coming out on the web. Sheesh. OK, it looks kinda bad, folks. But, ya know, the police are all we've got. Yeah, there'll always be nasty ones, but most are there for the job and want to do it in a righteous manner. If we did not have police, the criminals would really take over the city--more than they do already. I guess Sal was trying to make the Inner Harbor safe for us elderly retired people to walk around there.

The city is missing the boat with this. Tourists and locals too should get in on it. We could have bus tours following Sal around and watching and photographing his furnishing us with a safer city! All you bums, drunks, punks, skateboarders, artists, and other ne'er do wells watch out. It's gotta be at least as good as the Wire for Baltimore, or Homicide, or the Corner. Where's David Simon when we need him?!


VSGsD said...

thanks for the inside on this Buz!

buzoncrime said...

Thanks for reading my blog!