16 Aug 2019

Things We Take For Granted:

Officer Maz, Barracks Row Cop and Friend

Officer Maz checks in on José and his wife (not pictured), August 14, 2019. Until recently, the couple did not have a permanent address. They are now living a few blocks away and sharing their good news with Maz. Photo by Maria Helena Carey

Since April of this year, a local Instagrammer has been capturing our hearts with his feed. From the moment he started his account, Officer Jay Mazloom or as he likes to be called, Officer Maz, has been engaging and befriending the community around Barracks Row in a kind, courteous and human manner. In the past few months, he’s amassed a wonderful collection of photos with members of the street community, local business owners, the Marines, neighbors who walk Barracks Row, and even his personal bike and his work bike– which we are told get along very well. You can check out and follow his feed at @barracks_row_bike_cop.

Barracks Row has a confluence of traffic that unites the city thanks to the 90 bus routes and the DC Circulator. It’s also a hot spot for great food and nightlife, a reputation firmly cemented with Rose’s Luxury’s It status. 8th Street SE is also home to several facilities that help people in need: Community Connections, Aquila Recovery, the National Alliance on Mental Illness in the 400 block of 8th Street; Sasha Bruce Youthwork in the 700 block; SMYAL, in the 400 block of 7th Street SE; and Whitman Walker Youth Services in the 600 block of Pennsylvania Avenue SE. This is why the presence of bike police, and specifically of someone as gentle, personable and willing to document his friendships as Officer Maz, is an important addition to this police service area. The way he captions his photos and highlights the humanity in each and every person he encounters is a great reminder that no matter who we are or where we come from, we are all neighbors– sharing a great space together.

Take some time to look through his photo feed and keep a tissue handy. When you see Officer Maz walking or biking around 8th Street, tell him we say hi, and that we truly appreciate his presence both around the neighborhood and on Instagram.

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