Friday, February 4th, 2011
“Sometimes, I think that I was preordained to be a police officer. I was out of the Marine Corps and back in D.C. working as a manager at a Subway while getting my degree. One night, I was out hanging with this girl who lived up on 15th Street. We stayed out partying all night and I went to drop her at home early the next morning.
“As I was walking home, I saw this line of people at Roosevelt High School. I didn’t know what it was, but saw a buddy there and asked him what he was doing. He said, ‘We are taking the test for the Police Department. Why don’t you get in line and take it?’ I told him that I didn’t want to take the test. He kept at me and said, ‘Just get in line.’ At that moment, the line started moving. I thought it was a sign, so I joined him and took the test. I didn’t think anything of it. A few months later, they called me to do a background investigation and then they asked me to join the training academy. I waited until I finished my degree and then I joined in 1982.
“In my 28 years on the police force, I have been posted all over this city. My first foot beat was in front of the Convention Center. Since then, I have been on a plain clothes tactical unit, vice squad, motorcycle tactical unit, and an instructor at the training academy. When the drugs and murder were really bad in this city, my vice unit in 1D (1st District) won an award from the U.S. Attorney’s Office because we locked up more people in the city than any other unit. That year, each person in 1D Vice had over 1,000 arrests. I am very proud of that.
“My most recent post is with K9. Last year, I saw that I was getting transferred. Usually, that word makes you think that you messed up and you are getting in trouble. I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong, so I was excited to see what they were going to give me. The chief called me in asked me to take over all of the K9 units on the force. I accepted and have been doing that for over a year. These dogs are really amazing. We have dogs that can smell drugs and guns. There are also dogs that can find people or corpses. And, there are attack dogs. I am in charge of all of them and their training, upkeep, and health.
“During my time with the police, I’ve seen the good times and the bad times. It is easy to hop onto the bad stuff, but there are a lot of really good things happening in our communities to try and turn things around. So many of our kids just need structure and role models. About five years ago, some other people and I decided to start the Metropolitan Wolverines Football and Cheer League. We wanted to provide an opportunity for any kid who wanted to come and play football and get off the streets. The other league at the time, Pop Warner, was strict about which kids could play in which league, but we decided to create a place where kids of all shapes and sizes could play with other kids their own age. We don’t turn anyone away and provide equipment for kids who can’t afford to buy things.
“Most of the other coaches are also in law enforcement. We don’t just teach football, we teach life skills. Our boys don’t say,’yeah’ or ‘huh.’ They say, ‘yes, sir’ and ‘no sir.’ They show respect to their elders and the others around them. If we hear them messing around in school, they don’t come out here and play. Even more, they have to stand in front of all of their teammates and tell them why they can’t play. That’s how we work. We are strict, but it is for the kids best interest.
“I have seen so many stories of kids who make the wrong decisions and then spend their lives in jail or are killed on the street. But, if we get these kids at five and keep them playing football until 14, they got things to look forward to rather than being lured by the street. We practice three to four days a week and have games on Saturday, so we keep them really busy. We also have a program for the girls, too. A while back, I noticed that all of the girls were coming out to see their brothers play. They were sitting on the sidelines with nothing to do, so we started a cheering program called the Wolverinettes.
“Many of these kids are from broken homes, so their time with us allows them to be around positive role models. We are all volunteers and do this because we know that there are no bad kids out there. They just need some help and supervision. We are trying to keep these kids on the straight and narrow and helping them grow to be good Americans.”
Please consider supporting the Metropolitan Wolverines. They are also looking for volunteers to help coach football. If interested, please contact Coach Moe at email@example.com.