WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) --- Detective Grade One Vincent Tucci spent Thursday evening patrolling the 4700 block of Alabama Avenue, bullet proof vest providing a place to clip a police radio that kept Tucci informed as he walked past a school football field, and into an neighborhood of apartments where kids and a resident in a wheelchair got some help dealing with the heat from an ice cream truck whose music announced its arrival more loudly than the quiet, on-foot- approach of Tucci.
Tucci says the assignment "utilizes my experience as an officer of the MPD. A lot of that will be footbeat activity, checking on various calls that may come out in that area, maybe writing tickets, that sort of thing."
It's not what you expect of a 23-year veteran of the department who is one of only six detectives assigned to cover the whole city in the department's Financial Crimes and Fraud unit, but about once every eight weeks Tucci and his fellow detectives are pulled from their primary duties for a week to go back on patrol.
The police union has long opposed the rotation and has described it as writing traffic tickets.
"That takes away from our time to work on investigations that come into the office, various complaints that come from citizens, and our ability to provide our expertise to the uniformed officers in the field," Tucci told 9News.
A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Department wrote 9News stating, in part, " a number of units have gone out for redeployment for the past eight years. Members of this unit (Financial Crimes and Fraud Unit) are not redeployed all at one time - so when members are redeployed for five days every eight weeks, it is no different than a member taking leave.
" Redeployment allows them to get out from behind a desk and onto the streets to assist with addressing the needs of the community.
"Any officer that is going into a community to just write tickets is not fulfilling their sworn responsibilities as a police officer or the goals and objectives of the MPD," she said.