Richmond’s 760 sworn police officers were given their first-ever department-wide Memorial Day holiday yesterday, spending time with families, traveling, and most of all, taking a break from both protecting and serving the public.
“It’s great to be able to have a three-day weekend like everyone else for once, ” said officer J.J. Finch III, relaxing at his West End home as the city’s 911 call center was flooded with nearly 18,000 phone calls, none of which were answered as operators, too, had the day off. “It’s nice to know that the only serving I’ll be doing today is in terms of hot dogs and hamburgers.”
Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood said the mandatory paid time off for officers was “well deserved,” with violent crime in the city having dropped 22 percent from last year.
“These humble men and women of our force need this time off, despite whatever happens today without them on the streets. We can just clean it all up later,” Norwood said at a noon press conference, as four city buildings stood engulfed in flames nearby and the sounds of gunshots were heard ringing in the distance.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to get over to my neighbor’s house for a cookout,” the chief said.
The city’s supervillains also took advantage of the break, using the time yesterday to destroy all roadways into and out of Richmond, and taking more than 40,000 residents hostage. Police said they’ll “do their best” to mitigate the situation today, just as soon as they get over this raging hangover.