This is possibly the most asinine decision a Philadelphia Police Commissioner has ever made. Unfortunately, I am here to experience it.
Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey issued a Departmental Order stating that every police district in Philadelphia will hold their formal roll calls outside! Apparently, this order will be in effect, rain or shine, 365 days a year. It includes the overnight (11pm to 7am) shift as well.
I was unlucky enough to witness these shenanigans yesterday, when the 35th District was having their outdoor roll call on Broad Street in North Philadelphia. For those of you not from the area, Broad Street is the busiest thoroughfare in the city. The lieutenant had to shout to be heard over the traffic and pedestrians, while some of the officers were heard asking, "Is this a joke?"
The reasoning for this nonsense is anyone's guess, because the Commissar has not deemed the troops worthy of an explanation. Go figure. Perhaps he wants the public to get unlimited access into our everyday routine?
As you can imagine, this order is rife with problems. To wit:
- How are the Last Out (overnight shift) officers going to write info in their notebooks if they can't see?
- What happens when the mandatory weapons check is performed . . . with pedestrians milling about?
- What are the residents in the Northeast going to do when they see so few officers at roll call, when they pay the most taxes?
- How long will it be before some thug decides to make a name for himself by shooting at an entire squad during a drive-by?
No wonder Ramsey's rank and file despised him when he was in Washington, D.C.