"The murder rates in Philadelphia are through the roof, and guys like Kenny Rossiter clear the murder rates," McNesby said. "If I had a relative who had been murdered, I would want somebody like Kenny Rossiter on the case, whether he's home, whether he's at the office, or whether he's in North Wildwood."We all love movies featuring hard-bitten detectives who have deep, compromising flaws. In real life, Kenny Rossiter effectively (and, perhaps I should say, allegedly) robbed Philadelphia taxpayers of money. And that's a problem: We can't find any homicide detectives who don't cheat their employers?
I sometimes wonder if I give McNesby too hard a time: He very often shows up in the paper when some bit of police malfeasance in the news, and it's his job to provide a defense to members of the union. And yet: The cumulative effect of his defenses is to suggest that the police alone are allowed to be lawless in this city. McNesby is breeding cynicism. Maybe he cares. Maybe he doesn't.