Philly Blunt

Freelance writer. Editor and web-video producer. Former Atlantic City Press and Philadelphia Weekly staff writer, City Paper managing editor/columnist and Dougherty for Senate campaign manager. Comments welcome here or emailed to brianhickey9 [at] hotmail. Now on: Facebook (Brian Hickey, in Philly) Twitter at www.twitter.com/brianhickey Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/people/brianhickey/. Be sure to check out Hickey on Divorce Court: divorcecourting.blogspot.com.

05 November 2009

In an instant, my inherent good-will for Philly Police disappears

The one thing that really stuck with me after being on the daily crime-and-fire beat: Cops are not lazy.
I'm questioning that now.
It's less "lazy" than "resigned to having to blow certain crimes off." All started yesterday when I got dinged at the corner of Ridge and Midvale by someone in a white 2000 Chrysler. I can say, with certainty, the car model because that's what came up after I wrote the tag number down as it sped off south on Ridge.
The collision was far from substantial. A foot-long dent and a two-foot spread of white paint. I wasn't hurt. It didn't upset me in the least, other than the fact that the dirtbag driver took off.
So anyway, I waited an hour for the officer to arrive. Had other work to do, but it's important to me to try and hold hit-and-run folk accountable. She was very nice. Took the information. Gave me a number to call to get the report number.
Well, when I called back today to find out whether any charges resulted from the incident, an officer at the 39th District politely told me point-blank that chances are it wouldn't amount to anything.
They knew who the car was registered to, but haven't confronted them about it. Besides, I was told, it would be my "word against theirs." Apparently, witnessing a crime against you isn't enough. And due to that, apparently, driving over to a little street between Sedgley and Cambria is just too much for them to do. They told me to contact the insurance company so -- wait for it -- the insurance company could go after the driver.
Let me rephrase, bold, and give that its own line:
The cops told me to have my insurance do their job for them.
I can only assume this happens all the time, and that some might not be as hesitant to go to the car owner's house and see if they can't come to some sort of agreement. Like the agreement Kensos reached with that kiddie-rapist, you know?
When they sped off, I thought they were the biggest villain to enter my life since last year's coma-inducing hit-and-run. Well, that might change should police be content to file my case away into the "Eh, why bother doing our job?" file.

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