After the all the controversy over state Del. Jon S. Cardin using a police boat and cops into stage a fake raid for an elaborate marriage proposal, here's how to properly use a police helicopter for such an event, as first reported in today's Washington Post:
Take your hopefully future bride-to-be hiking (as this man did in Montgomery County along the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls), propose, get a yes, continue hiking and watch your fiance of a few minutes fall off a cliff. The U.S. Park Police had to fly over the area to rescue the woman, who apparently is now recovering.
On the Cardin front, this story is turning into a text-book example of how to not make a story go away, both from the police and the political perspective. The cops had the upper hand at first, playing this off as low-level officers who accepted an inappropriate request under pressure from a state delegate. They simply used bad judgment.
It was Cardin to kept the story going by at first refusing to be interviewed and releasing a vague statement that left people wondering whether it was he or his friend who actually set up the whole misguided adventure. Then the city added to the confusion by sending Cardin a bill for $300, which many felt way too low, and refused to make public either the bill or how the in-house accountants arrived at the figure. Then the cops said they woudn't under any circumstances divulge who owned the boat.
Cardin is remaining mum and evasive (he did send a letter to the editor at the Baltimore Sun, paid the $300 and threw in another $1,000 donation to the Police Department's horse unit), meaning when the city's police commissioner says during a radio interview that it was Cardin who asked the cops for help with the proposal, that small tidbit became news, and another headline on a story that should've have disappeared by now.
Is it any wonder that in a Baltimore Sun Internet poll, most people don't think Cardin has made appropriate amends. Now it looks like both Cardin and the cops have something to hide.