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by Peter Moskos

July 29, 2008

Shovel of Wisdom Winner!

So I was the Ed Norris Show. It was brutal. Brutal and dirty because they only attacked me after I was off the air. I got thick skin; I just wish I could have defended myself. He was too polite to me on the air and too harsh afterwards.

I think the problem is that 1) I don't think he ever read my book (despite what he said), and 2) he had read that damn City Paper article that is filled with errors and misrepresents my views of Ed Norris. The article quotes me as saying: "Under Norris... there was the idea that we could just arrest our way out of the problem.... It was all about stats and not about actual strategy." That's not, as you might imagine, my complete views on the job performance of Ed Norris as Baltimore police commissioner.

I think he was a good commissioner. Not as good a commissioner as he thinks he was. But I think he was a lot better than what came before and after him.

Anyway, he read the City Paper's quote and took it personally. I could see he was getting snippy with me, but I wouldn't bite because I got nothing against the man (well, actually I do, but that has more to do with his departure and felony conviction than his tenure as commish).

I do know you can't arrest your way out of the drug problem. And I do believe there's a problem in any plan working its way down from the top of the police organization to the bottom (where I was). Like the childhood game of operator, no matter what he said, by the time it filtered down through the ranks, it came down to "make arrests and keep them off our back."

I did like that my sergeant's wife called in to defend me. But they ignored her and kept going back to the City Paper.

Anyway, it's still good to be on his show. Even bad publicity is good publicity.

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