The Battle of Badgewars.com
While police officers deserve credit for their dangerous work, it seems that everybody has a story about a less than perfect cop. Somebody got pulled over because they were doing 70 in a 65. Sometimes, you spy an officer taking a nap in his cruiser.
The site used to deal primarily with department gossip, but recently comments about officers who abuse their authority (or drugs) have started to crop up. Officials with the department now want to know who’s responsible for the site, and wants the owner to substantiate the claims he’s publishing.
“Despite the most absurd and inflammatory comments on the site, it is incumbent upon the department to take seriously any allegations of officer misconduct,” said Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Boston Police Department.
Cops may be trained to negotiate with gun-toting robbers and nutjobs, but clearly they haven’t been schooled in handling bloggers. Badgewars.com’s owner, who goes by Nate or “the Anvil,” is delighted with the traffic a Globe story brought to his site, publishing letters from readers and vowing to continue on.
The site itself is a law enforcement Perez Hilton-like affair, with a blinking banner straight out of 1998. Tipsters send in pictures of cops like the one who was allegedly out on disability, but playing tennis, or illegally-parked cruisers.
While the site is no more inane than your average Internet message board, the Boston Police Department’s reaction seems a little over the top, especially after a remarkably violent holiday weekend. Maybe rooting out the BPD’s own Gossip Girl should be a project for after you’ve restored order to the city.