For the past three days I have been stuck in a classroom for our annual recertification. The fabulous classes ran the gamut from Legal Updates, to the FBI’s NIBRS training, to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace.
The last class was useless, because you can count the number of attractive Philly cops on one hand. /zing. I’ll rant about it anyway.
The instructor was a freshly-promoted lieutenant whose lecture was about as exciting as bread mold. He was obviously a company man, because he was not only way too into the topic, but also gleefully reminding us we’ll be suspended or fired if we’re found guilty of harassment. (The lieutenant seemed like the guy who talked shop to anyone who’d listen, and always wore a police t-shirt. A definite True Believer.)
As with most MPO classes, the subject was dry and boring. The scenarios were cookie cutter stories we’ve heard a million times, and afterward, the lieutenant cited examples not found in our information packet. To wit, the lieutenant actually said this with a straight face (I’m paraphrasing):
“You and a female partner are working a wagon or a two-person car, and you turn on the radio to a particular station. While driving, a rap song airs, and the song has sexually suggestive lyrics. You may be guilty of sexual harassment, even more so if you do not immediately turn off the radio.”
Some of the officers in the classroom laughed out loud, and I muttered – rather loudly – “Eh, what?”
One supervisor was especially randy after hearing this. “How do you figure, lieutenant? Did I write the lyrics? Am I singing them? What if my partner does not tell me she is offended?”
The lieutenant shot back, “She doesn’t have to tell you. When you hear the lyrics, it’s your duty to turn off the radio or change the channel.”
More raucous laughter.
The supervisor was not having it. “Okay, so say my partner and I are on a call, and we walk into a home with the same song playing. Do I order the homeowner to turn off the radio?”
Silence. The lieutenant had nothing, and he said he “would look into that.”
Ironically, I was sitting next to my sergeant, who is female, and even she said, “This guy – the lieutenant – is out of his damned mind.” Truer words were never spoken.