Great Moments in Washington, DC Police Work:

Amber Taylor describes an egregious example of incompetence by the Washington, DC police:

Yesterday, two men tried to break into my friend's home while she was inside. One man attempted to pry the door open and the other tried to get in the window. She called the police and, because the men were still milling around in a nearby alley, she was able to identify the perpetrators. One of them had just been released that morning . . .

The police told her that "D.C. doesn't have an attempted burglary statute" and so they could not arrest the men. They let them go, although now they know who my friend is, where she lives, and that she fingered them to the cops.

As Amber notes in her post, DC does in fact have an attempted burglary law (see also here), and the police could have arrested the suspects on other charges as well.

Sadly, this is not an isolated incident. Despite its many virtues, Washington, DC has a longstanding reputation for having perhaps the worst city government in the country (see also here). That's one of the reasons why, when I moved to this area back in 2003, I chose to live in northern Virginia rather than in the District. Fortunately, I have had little occasion to use the services of the Fairfax County Police. But the one time I did need their help (a noise complaint that was a far less serious and urgent problem than that experienced by Amber's friend), they dealt with the issue swiftly and effectively. Perhaps if more people vote with their feet against DC, the District's political leaders will have some incentive to clean up their act.