It seems I have an unspoken agreement with Toronto police. I live on a one-way street, and every once in a while, not very often, I will see a police cruiser driving casually the wrong way up the street. No warning lights, no siren, no emergency. I guess it’s just quicker and easier that way. I’ve considered stopping them and asking them to at least follow the rules and use their siren if they want to break the rules of the road. Or taking their number and reporting them.
Last week it happened three times on one day that I was cycling the wrong way up a one-way street and found myself staring straight down the windscreen of a Toronto police cruiser. Three times I murmured quick excuses to myself, casting my lot with the mercy of the keepers of the parking peace. But, bless them, they pretended they didn’t see me, I pretended I didn’t see them, and we both rode on with dignity preserved.
So they don’t report me and I don’t report them. That’s my unspoken deal with Toronto police. If it were the same officers, if it were an explicit agreement, you could call it corruption. As it is, I think of it as the human face of policing. And anyway, what did Brecht say about corruption?
“For humans, corruption is what compassion is for God.”