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Should Baltimore police be wearing headphones on the job?


© 2010 – Commentary

Last night around 10:45 p.m. I was driving on Maryland Avenue in the city when I happened to notice a Baltimore police officer walking on the sidewalk. He was in full uniform, had on his sidearm, and surprisingly he also had white ear bud headphones in his ears.

I could have taken a picture of it but doing so is illegal.

Nevertheless, why was the police officer wearing headphones on the job?

Someone could have easily snuck up behind him and reached for his sidearm. It is unlikely that he would have heard such a person.

Also, the officer cannot hear citizens’ pleas for help or traffic noise with headphones in. This is a threat to public safety.

Furthermore, wearing headphones in uniform looks extremely unprofessional. The police officer should act like one instead of acting like some college kid.

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  • Dean 4 years ago

    Maybe his headphones were attached to a police scanner.

  • Sean O'Donnell 4 years ago

    Dean: negative. The headphones were definitely for a civilian model music player. It was a young officer who was bobbing his head. I highly doubt traffic on the police scanner makes police want to bob their heads.

  • Baltimoron 4 years ago

    Sean - I don't know if you have ever seen anyone in uniform get gigged by this, but I know that if an NCO sees you wearing an iPod in the Army, you'll get an earful, and it won't be from your music player.

  • DCPIG 4 years ago

    As a Cop I can tell you that is a big NO NO. You should never wear headphones while patrolling. I let people kinda "slide" when they were ONE ear bud if they are on "static duty," i.e. construction watch, or parked on the side of the road on sundays when churches are getting out, etc. It is very dangerous, and also stupid in my opinion. Technically you are not even supposed to listen to music radio on your cruiser stereo b/c it can distract you. we do allow WTOP, and traffic checks of course. One of the problems today is lack of "peer checking." In the Marines it wasn't the dang officers who kept you in line, or the SNCO's, it was the hard-charger to your left or your right, or your low level NCO sayin' "Killer, you must be outta your rabidass mind! get that trash outta your ear devil dog. you know better." The problem on the force today is, too many civies and college kids who are like "go away, you ain't my dad." I guess it's like everything else nowadays, what ya gonna do?

  • DCPIG 4 years ago

    also...I have NEVER heard that you can't take a picture of a police officer. I work in DC and people take my photo all the time. Granted, I stop them and talk to them, and occasionally run their names through WALES/NCIC to check if they are "bad people," but I ain't heard folks aren't allowed to. But, I can't speak for MD 5-0's, maybe maryland is dfferent. lol