Baltimore’s Police Commissioner Hasn’t Watched The Wire

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Baltimore’s police commissioner, Anthony Batts, took to Twitter yesterday afternoon to do a virtual meet-and-greet with his constituents. A number of interesting things happened, including one that captured the attention of media-watchers nationwide.
Yes, the guy in charge of the BPD has never watched the Wire. This was news to media outlets like ProPublica, probably because in certain social circles it seems unthinkable that there’s anyone out there who hasn’t yet seen the show. I agree that he probably should check it out; there are some messages there worth hearing, and it’s entertaining to boot. (Although maybe Batts’s ignorance is a step forward, considering our previous commissioner’s feelings about the show…)

But Batts also said a number of other interesting things, like how the department is not willing to give up on the drug war and plans to increase the number of walking beat cops on the street. Despite the worryingly high number of murders in the first month of 2014, Batts says that the pace “has slowed and I’m confident our strategy will work.”

Are the commissioner’s television watching preferences really the most important part of this conversation? I can’t believe I’m about to say this but– can we all shut up about The Wire for once?

For a nuanced take on Batts’s tweets, read the always-on-top-of-it Justin Fenton  here.

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