Everyday policing is often a matter of conflicting priorities.
At Mondawmin Mall the other day, two officers on foot patrol -- ostensibly trying to prevent cars from being stolen -- ticketed 19 motorists. They had expired license tags but had gone to the Motor Vehicle Administration to renew them.
"I went to get my tags," said an angry Marcellus Oglesby, 18holding a $17 ticket. "Then I saw this on my windshield. If I'm down here getting my tags, why did I get a ticket?"
This kind of mass ticketing reportedly often happens at thbeginning of a new month, when tardy motorists' cars become easy targets for vigilant officers at Mondawmin. Incidents like this explain why the city Police Department has found it necessary to hire consultants to find out how police could increase their acceptance in the community.