Wednesday, July 17, 2013

COCKED AND LOCKED - Baltimore Police Open For Business?

Public Invitation Runs Contrary To Reality

By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.

Is it too much to expect accurate information from the official Twitter account, of the 8th largest police department in the country? When dealing with the Baltimore Police Department, I learned a long time ago to be careful in taking them at their word.

Anyone who's ever had the unfortunate experience of seeking help at one of Baltimore's police stations could tell you how uninviting they are. From hidden rear entrances (many front door are condemned), to unstaffed desks, the decrepit, run down appearances are not exactly a comforting sight for a citizen in distress. And that's before you have to deal with the cops themselves!

Batts And The Bishop

Baltimore mega-church, New Psalmist Baptist, led by Bishop Walter S. Thomas Sr., decided they'd had enough of this embarrassment. Details aren't clear, but apparently they provided private funding and or other support, to renovate and reopen the front entrance of the police department's Northwestern District station.

So a Bishop and a Police Chief walk into a bar... 
(A.F. James MacArthur, Baltimore Spectator)
With great fanfare and upbeat announcements echoed by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the general public was invited to come on down to check it out. In the spirit of hard-core investigative journalism and bringing you "Truth To The Masses," The Baltimore Spectator decided to check out the spectacle, so you wouldn't have to. What we discovered might surprise you.

In the graphic below, a friendly, open invitation is extended to the general public via twitter at 12:54 p.m. Less than an hour later when we showed up, apparently someone must have seen us coming, because the doors were definitely locked. A lone detective could be seen in the video, briefly peering through the large front window, that would be the only welcome or acknowledge we got. There was no inquiry of  "may I help you?" No one asked, "is there something we can do for you?" Nope, not here.
The Baltimore Police Department was asked for clarification via Twitter (same venue as the invitation), but as of this writing (3:25 p.m.), there's been no response.

It should be pointed out, this incident is not the first time conflicting messages were delivered to the public by the police. We've had plenty experiences before.

Remember, if you're having an emergency, DO NOT go to your nearest neighborhood police station. That is, unless you don't mind being left on the outside looking in.

Community activist, independent journalist, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur is used to not being welcomed in public places.

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