“does anybody have questions about the chart?” samantha asked.
nobody answered, or raised their hand, although samantha thought she detected some hesitation on the part of lucinda, the girl who had spoken before. but she did not speak up, nor did jocko, the young man who had spoken. he was slouched in his chair, staring at his feet.
“well then,” said samantha, “does anybody question the statistics on the chart?”
this time lucinda did raise her hand. samantha pointed to her, and asked her to speak.
“the 2 percent for “other police,” lucinda asked. “that seems awfully low.”
“yes,” another girl, an older girl in the back row, added, “twenty percent seems more like it.”
“that is a very good point,” said samantha. “and, in fact, it is one that occurred to me, the statistic is a little misleading, in that it only considers full time accredited and sworn in police officers, not the many people who volunteer to assist the police, or who might get some small stipend for being on a neighborhood watch patrol or citizens information group. the 2 percent figure does not even include police recruits and cadets, like myself” - samantha smiled at the girl - “who have not completed their training.”
“these volunteers and citizens and such, “ the girl in the back said. “you mean snitches.”
this got a little bit of laughter from the audience.
“you can call them that,” samantha replied, still smiling.
“but why,” asked lucinda, “are they not included in the percentage for police? they sort of are police, aren’t they?”
“that is true, “ said samantha. “but the point of the chart is to show how off the mark the picture of real life is in shows and books. detectives, especially homicide detectives, and uniformed police are shown over and over, even though there are not that many of them. now, how often do you see police volunteers or citizens groups - “
“snitches,” another girl in the back repeated, but nobody laughed this time.
“ - or citizens groups,” samantha continued, still smiling, “how often are they portrayed in shows?”
“never,” said lucinda emphatically.
“exactly. all right that is enough of that chart, i think you get the point.” samantha turned back to the wall. “now, here is another chart, which is more directly germane to our subject - that crime does nor pay.”
samantha tapped the wall and a second chart replaced the first one.
“this chart is about something that i think everybody can relate to - namely, money.”