The nation's capital is recovering from a week of cops running wild. Every year on May 15, National Peace Officers Memorial Day is celebrated in Washington…
For years, local residents have whispered to one another to stay off the roads at night during National Police Week because of all the police cars swerving wildly after the bars close. This year, the Metropolitan Police took the unusual step of ticketing cruisers because so many were parked illegally. Roll Call ran two photos last week of out-of-state police cars parked in a handicap spot and a space reserved for Zipcars. Emergency fire lanes across the city were blocked by police cars.
The dangerous activity is not limited to automobiles. Drinking while carrying sidearms is an annual part of the celebrations. A few years back, one inebriated officer tripped out of a bar in Chinatown and unloaded his pistol on the bell tower of nearby St. Mary, Mother of God Catholic Church.
At Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium two years ago, four officers from Signal Hill, Calif., made a public spectacle of themselves at a Nationals-Braves baseball game. With little regard for safety and even less concern for their appearance, these law enforcement officers were chugging down beers while in full uniform with their pistols on their hips and spare bullet clips on their utility belts. One concerned spectator asked them if it was against police regulations to be drinking alcohol while carrying weapons. In response, one of the officers teetered over, spilled his beer, put his finger to his lips and slurred, "shhhhh"—giggling uncontrollably.
Ask around D.C., and you'll find quite a few people have personal stories about encountering caddish off-duty cops during Police Week.