Poor Baltimore police officers — after a hard day of saving lives and chasing down suspects, sometimes they just want to take a nap… in their squad car… while on duty. Whereas in the past a police officer happily snoring away might only be noticed by a few passers-by, thanks to the internet and ubiquitous cell phone cameras, a snoozing officer is now likely to find him/herself plastered across the internet. No more, says BPD commissioner Anthony W. Batts: “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,” Batts wrote in a message to his staff. “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.”
While I imagine on-the-jobs nap are par for the course in many different kinds of jobs, the image of a snooozing officer is a particularly potent symbol of institutional laziness — especially considering the string of murders that shocked the city at the start of the summer. (Of course, as the Baltimore Sun points out, the sleeping officers could also blame their heavy lids on too much overtime caused by hundreds of vacancies in the department.)
Meanwhile, Fox 45 continues to post images and videos of uniformed cops sleeping away. Beware the cell phone, officers.
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