June 17, 2017

A little known Watergate story

Sam Smith - A little known aspect of the Watergate story - which occurred 45 years ago today - was how close it came to not happening.

The normal responders to such a call would have been uniformed officers in a marked car which would have been easily spotted by the Watergate accomplice stationed across the street from the target.

But, as a DC assistant police chief told me years later, the normal responders were "cooping" - i.e. taking a nap or snacking - in an alley nearby and didn't answer the call.

That very morning, the precinct commander had lectured the plain clothes squad on their lousy work of late and warned them they would be back in uniform if they didn't do better. So while the marked car officers cooped, the plain clothes officers nearby quickly responded. And the rest is history.

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