Wednesday, I had a great opportunity to go for a “ride along”  with a police officer in the Woodbridge area.  Expecting to see horrific neighborhoods, having been described by Greg and other posters, I WAS shocked.  Shocked, because, for the most part, the only lawns I did not see maintained were the ones with the foreclosure signs on them.  Sure, the homes were older, several had garages that were turned into separate entrances, but they are all in good shape for the most part.  We visited shopping centers, once vibrant, now deserted. 

The police officer pointed out areas with high gang activity, and pointed to some taggings.  Still, having grown up in Fairfax, having lived from  North Arlington to Centreville, having seen first hand the poorer apartments and houses in the Baileys Crossroads area, even these parts of Woodbridge, overall, looked well maintained.   I am not suggesting that the houses all perfect, there were a few that stood out, but this was not a “third world country”, not by any stretch of the imagination.  I asked the police officer “is this as bad as you could show me ?”, and he replied that it was.   

Stopping briefly, we had some conversations with a few day laborers.  They were cordial and friendly, sharing their thoughts, describing their desire to work during these tough times.  Some had families here, some had families in their country of origin.   Although, a few admitted to be undocumented, several said they had visa’s to be here legally. 

Driving home, I recalled the conversations I had with this very kind, considerate, and thoughtful(as in full of thought), police officer.  He can see the totality of immigration impact in Prince William County, we were able to debate our ideas and I certainly came away with a new appreciation of his job and the struggles of these neighborhoods, struggling to absorb such a large influx of new and different faces. 

To me, the glaring elephant in the room, has been the lack of county leadership, dealing pro-actively with the changing face of Prince William County to a more urban environment.   Instead, we have community in fear of the police, and that fear is counter productive to the safety of everyone in Prince William County, including me, you, and the immigrants. 




131 Thoughts to “My thoughts regarding my “ride along” with a police officer”

  1. elvis


    this happens all the time. I took my 6 year old to 7-11, we stopped to get some coffee while I was taking her to the office for a day. I got the same treatment, what made it worse is that it was to a 6-year old. that’s sick, approaching a car with a 6-year old girl and making hand-motions, lude gestures and such. day laborers may be people with families, but in general can be very sick individuals. when they are done making their lude gestures they go back to urinating and defecating in public like animals. So much for illegals having family values.

    I speak fluent spanish by the way and was not confused or mistaken by what they said. Your full of it yourself if you say this stuff does not happen on a daily basis. I know many people who look at this board and the other one who can verify that this stuff is all too common. stop sticking up for the animals.

  2. hello

    Firedancer, I only wish I had made up the incident I talked about. However, it did in fact happen (and not just that once). I’m offended that you would say “I flat out don’t believe this happened”. So I suppose Censored made up the same story right?

    Censored said “Hello, a woman I’ve met handled the problem facing your wife in this way. When the guy made a comment about her (in Home Depot), she walked right up to him and said,”Would you say that to your mother?!”

    What is so hard to believe?

  3. Juturna


    I actually saw him once at National Airport. He was getting into a cab. My sister and I were frozen in our spots about three feet away. He looked at us and smiled. Surprised we are not still standing there!!!

  4. junkyard dog


    If I can interrrrrrrrrupppt the luv fest with Erik Estrada long enough, to answer your question, Ruff Ruff.

  5. Bravo, Elena! I’ve gone to Manassas to Point of Woods and several other places in the past couple of weeks and I can tell you that unless these complainers are used to living in some pristine kingdom I’ve never seen, there isn’t much to complain about. As I have said before, what I see are cute, working and middle class neighborhoods with YES some empty houses that need lawn cutting and trash removed. BIG FAT HAIRY DEAL.

    YES there can always be improvements, and YES we don’t want crime. But I’m tired of hearing how ugly Manassas and Woodbridge because of “illegals.” You know what’s ugly? No trees, trash, and graffiti, the kinds of things WE can clean up and make sure stay in control.

  6. Reminder: I used to live in Manassas and I never thought it was a bad place, with or without minorities, illegals, etc. So this isn’t “new and improved via the resolution” as people like SA would have you believe. It’s all a matter of perspective.

  7. “I just think common sense tells me, as a woman, not to stop at stores where there are large groups of men standing around out front.”

    MH, I disagree. It might not be comfortable, but we have a right to go into a store and we should assume right there in public, we would be safe. I know I would and in the past, I have MADE myself go into stores when I might not otherwise because I refuse to let my PRIVATE PARTS hinder my ability to choose retail stores!

    In front of a 7-11, the worse thing that will happen is some idiots might hoot and hollar or say stupid things. You can either respond or not respond. But I say….walk in with your head held high. This isn’t about Hispanics or illegals. This is about being female and living in a still-male-dominated world.

  8. IllegalisILLEGAL

    kgotthardt, This wouldn’t happen if they weren’t “hanging” around.

  9. Moon-howler


    I guess it all depends on how much you do or don’t want to deal with controversy. Lots of places sell coffee. I chose to go in stores that don’t have hordes of men standing out loitering. This has nothing to do with immigrants.

    Yes, I have the right to go into whatever store I want to go in. However, I would just rather spend my time taking on other issues.

  10. Elena

    I have to tell you, the beauty of the older neighborhoods are the tall mature trees, the larger lots and the different style houses, no cookie cutter communities there.

  11. I-is-I, lots of people hang around everywhere! Part of life. Teenagers, men, women….just depends where you are. Crowds in general can be intimidating. Heck, walking into a BOCS meeting can be intimidating!

    MH, I know what you are saying. I have been known to make things harder on myself because I don’t want reason to accuse myself of being a wimp. However, that’s not always useful, as you point out.

  12. “the beauty of the older neighborhoods are the tall mature trees, the larger lots and the different style houses, no cookie cutter communities there.”

    YOU SAID IT, ELENA! Right on.

  13. Elena

    Ahh, yes, Erik Estrada and those pearly whites( sigh as eyelids flutter). The police officer was cute, but what made him even more attractive was his humanity. This is not a black and white issue, he upholds the madate put before him, no question, but he also understands the underlying issues.

    Illegal, I will ask in order to clarify if police officers were forbidden to inquire prior to arrest regarding immigration status.

  14. Juturna

    Groups of men have always hung around certain convenience stores. The only variance I ever noticed is ethnicity. However the behaviour does not change.
    The reason might. Some groups clearly dealings drugs, some boozing and some looking for work.

  15. Juturna

    I could be wrong but it was my understanding that federal law prohibited officers from inquiring into legal status – thus the purpose of the 287(g) program which trains officers in immigration laws and then delegates the authority.

  16. Lucky Duck

    Elena/Juturna, there is nothing in the Federal Code that prohibits any State or Local officer from inquiring as to an individual’s legal status. In fact, 8 U.S. Code Section 1357 (g) (10) provides: “nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require an agreement under this subsection in order for any officer or employee of a State or political subdivsion of a State –
    (A) to communicate with the Attorney General regarding the immigration
    status of any individual, including reporting knowledge that a
    particular alien is not lawfully present in the United States; or
    (B) otherwise to cooperate with the Attorney General in the identification
    apprehension, detention, or removal of aliens not lawfully present
    in the United States.”

    The section preceeding the above allows local law enforcement officers to serve as agents of ICE so long as there is a written agreement. But what I quoted above allows ANY officer to inquire and communitcate the status of individuals with or without a written agreement.

    The purpose of the 287(G) program is that it literally makes ICE agents out of State/Local police. These individuals can inquire into status (like everyone else) but they also can file the paperwork to begin deportation proceedings (the other State/Local Officers cannot do so). However, the 287(G) code also demands that those State/Local police that are ICE certified MUST be supervised by an ICE agent.

  17. anony

    If you think those shopping centers that are now deserted have been VIBRANT for one minute since the early 1980’s you are dreaming. Get a clue. They’ve been hell-holes for decades. And the addition or departure of hispanics had nothing to do with it.

  18. Elena

    Thank you for the clarification Lucky Duck,
    I believe this idea that Chief Deane ordered his officers NOT to inquire was an urban legend, meant to discredit him, thanks for setting this urban legend straight.

  19. anony

    “Groups of men have always hung around certain convenience stores.”

    Where have you lived? Must have been some shady urban neighborhoods.

    Groups of men have NEVER hung around the two 7-11s on Route 1. I’ve lived here since they each were built and used to stop at them regularly on the way home.

    Not now, however.

  20. Juturna

    I lived in Marumsco Hilla from 8t thru 96. The 711 at Longview and RTE 1 always had grouos of men. Once mid-day I had a flat and they helped.
    I disagee with you.

  21. anony

    Dream on Juturna!

    I used to stop at that 7-11 all the time. Every once in a while there would be 2 or 3 kids outside and they’d get shoo’d off instantly.

    NEVER were there groups of men. I would never have stopped if there were. That is not a safe scenario for a lady.

    Who were these “groups of men”?

  22. Moon-howler

    Anony, I worked near Marumsco Hills and that 7-11 has had people hanging out for decades. In fact, so did Marumsco Plaza. I can’t believe your re-invention of the route 1 corridor.

    The groups of men I saw were professors from Georgetown University. Of course I am kidding. Most of the ones I used to see were laborers or loiters. If you go further south it is generally the same type who sits on the bags of dog food out in front of the IGA.

  23. Juturna

    The group of men I frequently encountered had Colt .45 bottles in their bags. This was in the middle of the day. I always assumed they were from the homeless camp behind 711. That was there beginning in the 90’s. I had friends who were members of the Presb church located there who ministered to those in that camp.

    Those that ministered were ladies.

  24. Chris

    MH, Juturna, and anony are right. That 7-11(Rt & The Prkwy) has ALWAYS been a hell hole and the exact same could be said of the Coverstone 7-11. I saw a man get stabbed in the neck at Coverstone back in the 70’s. I’ve always avoided that store like the plague. I also remember my dad needing a ride from down at the other end. My mom told him she didn’t feel safe going down there just after dark with a child about 10yrs old.

  25. elvis

    the bottom line is that illegals DO hang out in front of the stores, usually around the marumsco area. the 7-11’s are horrible as is tacos ricos moya or whatever it’s called. I would have to say that elena’s description of her ride-along is a fallacy, it’s what “she” saw, everyone see’s with different eyes and apparently she thinks everything is ok. I guess she doesnt get out of haymarket much. have the cops take you out at night, like after 10pm and then you’ll see something. I think you got the standard company tour because I know MANY PWC police officers who think you are smoking something. why dont you tell us the officers name who escorted you on your ride along so we may verify if that’s what he really told you? I would hazard a really good guess he gives us a different story. am I calling you a liar? not completely, but I think you are seriously embellishing things to cover your agenda. I mean cant you just leave the illegals alone and go back to saving the tree’s or something?

  26. Juturna

    Why don’t you tell us who the “many officers are that think she’s smoking something”. You can’t make a valid argument with that rhetoric here.

    My goodness. What a nasty post.

  27. Elena

    Right now, your petty accusations are not worth my time. Think what you will, that is your choice, I actually don’t care.

  28. junkyard dog

    Juturna is right, Elvis. Let’s name those police officers who think Elena is smoking something, if they really exist. Am I calling you a liar? You be the judge.

    There is a habit, often displayed by adolescent boys. It involves constantly picking at a girl because the boy has a crush on the girl. Is this what is causing your obnoxious behavior, Elvis? You are always taunting and picking at Elena. Are you ‘sweet’ on her? If that is the case, then give it a rest. She will like you better. I promise.

  29. Juturna

    Think Elvis has left the building. That’s good for PWC.

  30. Lucky Duck

    Elvis, you’re incorrect about Elena. Admin has my e-mail address attached to this blog. If you write her and forward me an e-mail I would be happy to discuss it with you off of this blog. Thanks.

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