update on Officer John Distel


After smashing up his cruiser while off duty, Montgomery County police officer John A. Distel called police on his cell phone. Why not use the cruiser’s radio?

Officers frequently call each other on their cell for matters that need not tie up common frequencies. To call for assistance or report a crime, the radio is used. Possibly Distel didn’t want the press to get hold of this little mishap. (The media routinely monitor the police frequencies.)

Distel, a Germantown resident, received a commendation for helping assist fellow officer Michael Clinton. In May, 2004 Clinton was he was being shot at by a motorist he had pulled over.

As per policy, Distel is still being paid. But I doubt he still has the privilege of a take-home cruiser.

In response to an nbc4.com article, a supposed fellow Montgomery County Police officer writes:

I see no one has mentioned anything about the officer that HAD to arrest Distel. Just think what this officer has to go through now. All the administrative paperwork, court proceddings and arresting somene that was in your same academy class and someone you worked with before.

I have gained an extra level of respect for the officer that arrested Distel as he remained professional and did what he was required to. I can just imagine the stress he has now and being worried about other officers are going to judge him. I hope that officer knows we appreciate what he did as none of us wish to be put in that situation.

On his Facebook page, Distel listed his job position as po-po. This is street slang for the police.

further update

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