August 17, 2011 | by Peter Rosenstein
Growing rift between Lanier, LGBT community
Cathy Lanier

Under Police Chief Cathy Lanier, the city’s award-winning GLLU has been effectively dismantled. (Blade file photo)

I continue to have a good relationship and like Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier on a personal level, but there is a growing rift between Lanier and the LGBT community. This is in stark contrast to the community’s strong relationship with former Chief Ramsey. The relationship with Lanier was good after her appointment but has since gone steadily downhill.

 

In December 2006 Mayor-elect Fenty named Lanier as his police chief. She quickly held a small but important getting-to-know-you meeting with a diverse group representing the LGBT community arranged by Lt. Brett Parson, then head of the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU). This award-winning unit was the pride and joy of our community and an example Chief Ramsey often used when talking about good community policing.

Chief Lanier spoke highly of the unit and committed to keeping it at full strength, a campaign promise made by candidate Fenty. Barely four months later there were rumblings about her lack of support for the unit and liaison units as a whole. In May 2007 Lanier issued a statement that she was going to begin changing, and in essence dismantling, the units. There was an outcry from the LGBT and the Latino communities and opposition to the changes from the D.C. Council forced the chief to back down. There was a stormy meeting at MPD headquarters with the chief. In exchange for her saying it was a “rookie mistake,” the community issued a statement of continued support for her.

It seems possible — though I hope not the case — that Chief Lanier’s moves against the liaison units since that time, and her lack of communication, have been partly a response to the community having called her out on the issue and winning. In October 2009, the chief again announced a broad change in the GLLU structure without any consultation with the community. She claimed it had been in the works for a year. Unfortunately by then, Mayor Fenty had also abandoned his pledge to the community. The chief announced there would be trained members of the GLLU in every precinct who understood and could deal with the issues impacting the LGBT community.

The community responded and correctly stated that there had been no training and was then grudgingly allowed minimal input into the proposed training modules. By that time, the core unit of the GLLU was understaffed, without resources to respond to the community, and without a sergeant.

Since then there have been continued battles with the chief over the structure of the unit and Lanier has continued to make changes without consulting the community, resulting in a clear diminishment of service to the community. Training of the new officers who are nominally part of the unit has been sporadic and until recently the community never received an accurate list of who these officers were.

In the interim there has been a documented rise in hate crimes in the District with an overwhelming impact on the LGBT community, ranging from name calling, robbery and assault, to murder. There has been a Council resolution on hate crimes and two hearings held by Council member Phil Mendelson.

At both those hearings, Chief Lanier has either downplayed the issue or told outright untruths about hate crime reporting. Recently, Lanier made another change to the leadership of the liaison units and now they report to a civilian in the department. She made no effort to discuss this and its possible impact with any community and didn’t bother to inform the mayor who confirmed this at a town hall meeting with the LGBT community in June.

The recent attack on five lesbians in Columbia Heights and the fact that the officers responding let a perpetrator go and didn’t file a report on the incident highlight what the community has been saying for years. Although the chief’s concept of a GLLU spread out across the District is a nice idea conceptually, the MPD isn’t ready to effectively implement that. The community needs and demands a fully staffed and functioning core GLLU.

I understand and applaud the overall success that the MPD has had in fighting crime. But in our community hate crimes are a major issue and they getting worse. The chief and the mayor, who as a candidate made a commitment to fully staff the GLLU, must work this out and abide by that commitment. Nothing less than our lives are at stake.

29 Comments
  • Thank you, Peter. You have provided an excellent historical account of Chief Lanier’s failed policies and actions with respect to MPD’s GLLU. Despite Lanier’s soothing PR words to the LGBT community, it is the de facto anti-LGBT messages that her official actions have repeatedly sent throughout MPD’s chain-of-command that concern many of us.

    IMO, the Chief’s mixed messages have contributed mightily to an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty within MPD itself, as to the Chiefs’ expectations of line officers’ duty to enforce DC’s tough hate crimes law. Certainly, throughout the LGBT community, residents are becoming increasingly fearful. They are also becoming rightfully outraged as they witness the Chief of Police and political leaders do little to end the rise in anti-LGBT hate crimes.

    “The community needs and demands a fully staffed and functioning core GLLU.”

    I couldn’t agree more. This is elementary common sense. But MPD’s chiefs have used a ruse of so-called “expansion” of GLLU to the local districts as an excuse to degrade an effective, award-winning MPD core unit. Chief Lanier has, IMHO, always sought to destroy GLLU since she became Chief in 2007. In any event, it has become evident that the GLLU “expansion” is a failure at MPD’s district levels, as well.

    Let’s hope the LGBT community recalls the recent promises of Mayor Gray, CM Mendelson and others on the Council regarding maintaining the strength of GLLU’s core unit.

    I would think the Council and Mayor Gray have the power to fulfill those promises through immediate emergency legislation forcing MPD to restore GLLU’s core office to its former strength. They can also direct MPD to actively recruit LGBT MPD officers to accomplish that, as well as train their fellow MPD officers at MPD district levels– with the close advice, support and oversight, of LGBT civilian groups, of course.

    It’s long past time to end the community’s growing fear and mistrust of MPD. As you’ve noted well, nothing less than LGBT public safety and lives are at stake.

  • There is certainly a long list of concerns regarding MPD & the LGBT community. I thought the meeting that Lanier and other top MPD officials held with 13 LGBT activists on August 16 was constructive. The DC Trans Coalition summarizes the meeting here:
    http://tinyurl.com/3peqdzq

    Brian, I agree that GLLU should be fully staffed and functioning; but it is not appropriate for the Council to micromanage MPD to the extent of specifying the size of individual units, nor is there any likelihood they would do this. We must hold the Chief accountable, work with her as best we can, and also convey our concerns to Mayor Gray.

    GLAA had some strong criticisms of MPD in our “Agenda: 2010″ policy brief: http://www.glaa.org/archive/2010/agenda2010.htm#_Toc266257916

    My latest column is called “Confronting Biased Policing”:
    http://tinyurl.com/3vgd38j

  • Peter, scribe emeritus, writes: “…The community needs and demands a fully staffed and functioning core GLLU…” In these days of limited resources if you “demand” something, Peter, why don’t you be the first to write a nice check to MPD to support your cause and start the ball rolling? Set an example that all of us can emulate.

    Peter concludes by writing “…Nothing less than our lives are at stake…” A little dramatic, Peter? My suggestion is to tone down the flaming rhetoric and come back over to the rational side. Moreover, I view my life at stake, in all aspects including financially, militarily, socially, and internationally, by a continuation of the Obama regime. On that, God forbid.

  • laurelboy2: Really? Your life is at stake if Obama is re-elected? So you’d feel safer with a President Bachmann or Perry? Have you paid attention to these people? Discussion boards would be so much more enlightening if so many people were not drawn to the cheap trick of snide posturing as if it were an addictive substance. As to writing a check to MPD: huh? We’re talking about public policy and public funds here. MPD has a decent budget. It’s priorities that need examining. More important, though, is enforcement of existing MPD policies and procedures. It’s almost better not to have a policy if it’s going to be ignored with impunity by the rank and file.

    • A quick answer: Yes, I know about Perry and I support him. I voted for McCain and I’ll vote for Perry/Rubio with gay pride.

      • With gay pride? Do you know Perry’s record?

        • There’s more to life than Gay Pride. I consider myself a man who is Gay, not a Gay man, I do not let it define me. Perhaps that is why I have the respect of my family, friends and co-workers. I am also successful, both socially and financially, and lead a very satisfying and fullfilling life. I have had more than one person I have come in contact “soften” their views of the “alternative lifestyle” after coming into contact with it through their relationship with me.

          • Me, too, Chris. The constant activism and in-your-face approach of the majority of the gay community is tired and reckless. Many more bridges are made one brick at a time than the repetitive protesting in all its forms. All the latter does is further alienate us fromt he mainstream.

        • His record is very admirable. My “gayness” is only a minor attribute of myself that impacts my vote.

  • Rick, you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the way police departments operate. PDs are top-down, not bottom-up organizations.

    The tail does not wag the dog. All signals, for good or ill, are sent from the dog’s brain. That is the Chief of Police and her A.C. for Patrol Services in this metaphor of ultimate MPD responsibility and chain of command.

    The notion that all Chief Lanier need do is “examine MPD priorities” to stop these repeated seeming screw-ups by the Chief’s underlings is a cover story. And I think you know that.

    It is a CYA diversion on behalf of an embattled police chief whose real-world actions and policies regarding LGBT-related crime and DC’s LGBT community, for the past 4 1/2 years, have resulted in one embarrassing anti-LGBT MPD incident after another. That is the one constant abysmal record in Cathy Lanier’s tenure as police chief– year after year, five summers running, now.

    Right out of the gate, Chief Lanier set out to dismantle Chief Ramsey’s award-winning GLLU unit in 2007 — sending an unmistakeable message from MPD’s head throughout MPD’s rank and file. Peter has accurately summarized above Lanier’s subsequent relentless assault on GLLU (and SLU) — and by implication, the LGBT community GLLU was established to serve and protect.

    Lanier’s repeated dismantling and downgrading of GLLU also sent a relentless message for 4 years+ to MPD’s very rank and file officers some now wish to scapegoat, in lieu of finding an incompetent Chief responsible for more anti-LGBT outrages at MPD.

    I don’t get it. Again, the tail does not wag the dog. Certainly, many more in the LGBT community, after yet another hot summer of Lanier’s excuses, are growing weary of them.

    Promptly restoring GLLU’s core unit to its former strength IS the issue, Rick– not scapegoating MPD’s rank and file officers for very possibly following their chief’s deliberately mixed messages.

    • Brian, when did I say the police operated in a bottom-up way? I wish you would stop putting words in my mouth. I have been strongly critical of Lanier. Peter and I were the ones who put out the alert in 2007 when the Chief was about to decentralize GLLU. We have repeatedly insisted on the need for a fully-staffed core GLLU. Yes, I disagree with you on tactics. But Lanier’s performance at the meeting this week was not a repeat of her past public efforts to discredit activists. As the DCTC meeting summary showed (notwithstanding its skeptical perspective), the meeting was productive. I did not just say, nor do I think, that paradise arrived. I said it was productive. Of course we have a long way to go. Your polemical approach here is not particularly helpful.

      • Gosh, I’m flattered. But no one can put words in your mouth, Rick! ;-D

        Notwithstanding, we’re all moving in the same direction (even Chris and laurelboy, waaaaay over yonder to our right). More later. I just want the Chief to pause from ROTFL while I get a haircut.

  • aurelboy2,

    Stupid.

  • These are clearly different times in the District. Lanier should be allowed to manage man power exactly as she sees fit. The GLLU unit previously was in some ways DuPont Circle’s own little police force. Offering very little assistance to the thousands of gay and lesbians that live in many other areas of the city. If you go back and carefully look at the calls for service that each officer took in a normal shift, the under utilized services of both the GLLU officers and their Sgt. were well below the city’s averages. There were times that members of the community needed services and got beepers, and recorded messages. This is something that is never discussed by those proponents of the former model. They only see that rosy picture of Brett Parson showing up handcuffing someone and they running away feeling safe and secure. Well boys and girls it just isn’t that way any more. As demonstrated by one recent incident where a gay man after being assaulted went to the DuPont Circle officers to seek help and was handed a pager number to call. The GLLU officers present didn’t even want to be bothered to help. The divisiveness had to end some day and the need for all of these officers to share the burden was the overwhelming reason that Lanier chose to expand the unit and to train many officers to handle calls from the community. GLLU formally was nearly a one man band with Brett Parson. He was both abused and used by the community that was inappropriate for any officer in the MPD. He’s a good guy but just couldn’t say no and thus he was constantly absorbed into situations requiring his time and energy. I think it is time that the members of the Gay and Lesbian community grow up and be citizens, participate in the city, not single themselves out and expect special treatment. Expect that when you have an emergency and call 911, to get a police officer that both treats you professionally, and within the merits of the needs at the moment. If for some reason there are reasons to think it may be a hae crime then expect it to be treated as such. Allow MPD to continue to serve the entire population of the city, fairly, equally, and professionally. It’s not just about your preferences, it’s about all of us being safe and being treated fairly.

    • Nice. I find nothing with which to quarrel.

    • Keith, I have to agree with Brian here. Your characterization of the history of the core group of GLLU is at odds with input I have received from a wide spectrum of GLBT citizens. Incidentally, I don’t know anyone who ever thought GLLU should serve only or primarily Dupont Circle. The location of its HQ is irrelevant to its mission, which from its founding in 2000 had an explicit citywide scope. Chief Lanier has pretended that activists who criticized her wanted GLLU to focus only on one northwest neighborhood, which she knows is false. But we got a meeting with her and several of her top staff, and we used it. Notwithstanding our continuing differences with her (e.g., I agree with DCTC that the Prostitution Free Zones are Trans Profiling Zones), she continues to be Chief and we need to work with her if she is prepared to work with us. Continued advocacy and aggressive oversight are also needed. But I also believe in giving credit where due. Merely throwing brickbats is unproductive. Unfortunately, some insist on treating “giving credit where due” as if it were abject surrender. No. We have to do the best we can to engage the mechanisms of power. That doesn’t preclude other activities.

  • Keith, aside from your lies and cheap shots regarding GLLU’s Dupont office (stripped of GLLU officers by Cathy Lanier, BTW), it is good to have confirmed what DC’s chief of police really thinks of the LGBT community and GLLU.

    Thanks. I do hope you enjoy that MPD awards dog and pony show. BTW, are you really running for Council again? That’s a hoot!

  • First and foremost, thank you Peter for writing about what’s really going on in this city with mpd and the Lgbt community. We must continue informing the Community on what’s really happening with out sugar coating it.
    I wish that Rick stopped quoting DCTC in his posts online because he is not on the same page that we are. We are not the pals he wants to make people believe we are.

    I hope we continue to to address this issue with mpd in the media.

  • Peter Rosenstein

    So we finally know that Laurelboy2 – who is afraid to give his name and likes to write anonymously -is a gay Republican who likes Perry’s record. That clearly explains some of his previous posts on this site. Perry is a former Democrat who voted for the biggest tax increase in Texas history. He then became a Repbulican who believes among other things that people have no impact on climate change (even while Texas industry includes some of the biggest wind energy production supported by the federal government), that creationism is fact and must be taught in schools, that gays and lesbians should have no right to marriage, to any benefits or to equal employment opportunity. I am thankful that most of my Republican friends think Perry is what one recent Republican official who served in both the Reagan and Bush administrations called him “An Idiot”.

    But I think that the revelations that Laurelboy2 is making about himself put all his comments into perspective and will allow people to decide they aren’t worth reading. Maybe one day he will find the guts to use his own name as he says he lives an openly gay life. Maybe entertainment for some other Perry supporters will be to look on Perry’s website for Laurelboy2 and see the annonymous comments he makes there.

    • Sounds like dear Pete is obsessed with Laurelboy2. Awkward. Weird. Have you taken your anti-anxiety and anger management meds today, Sir Peter?

  • As a young teenage member of the John Birch Society in the early 1970s, I was taught to “support your local police” and that the police were America’s foremost guardians of freedom”. It was shortly before I encountered my local police and found out that my local police were sick, sadistic, bloodthirsty gay-bashing killers* who brutally beat, strip naked, abuse, and torture innocent children – cover it up and get away with it.
    I know because they did it to me.
    *I have to say killers instead of murderers because it is never murder when a government authority kills an innocent child or citizen. It is always death while in custody, death after a scuffle, a tragedy, poor training, or some other such nonsense, but never murder.
    Nowadays, as a Liberty Activist, I like to joke about being on the list of people who soon must be murdered by government authorities in order to keep their lies and cover-ups going.
    What is not funny is that without the GLLU I have no protection from the next rounds of criminal violence which may be perpetrated upon me, whether it be from a government authority, government agency such as CSOSA, (Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency), from a local conman, or a random attack, such as what happened to Jimmy LaSalvia. GOProud’s executive director said an unidentified youth punched him in the chest. If this happened to me and I called the police, they may have showed up and asked me what I did to provoke the attack. I could have been arrested and charged with several crimes including, child battery, simple assault or even attempted murder – for which I could be given a life sentence.
    In the testimony of A.J. Singletary, President of Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (GLOV), to the DC City Council, Committee of the Judiciary, on July 6, 2011 entitled “Hate Crimes in the District of Columbia and Police Response to Reports of Hate Crimes” GLOV suggests, among other things, that MPD: Publicly state that individuals can request and receive assistance from a GLLU affiliate when reporting incidents and crimes to MPD; and Restore the central GLLU to its previous staffing levels and put a dedicated
    manager in charge.
    This is most important as it would not be a safe or good idea for me to just call 911 if I need police assistance.
    In the Washington Blade article; ‘GOProud head attacked in anti-gay assault’ Sgt. Carlos Mejia said the GLLU and the police department have distributed literature and public notices advising citizens to contact the unit on its new 24-hour smart phone number of 202-506-0714. This is extremely good news. I hope I will not need to call it, but it is in my cell phone now.

  • **
    *Rick Rosendall August 17, 2011 at 3:08 pm*
    There is certainly a long list of concerns regarding MPD & the LGBT community. I thought the meeting that Lanier and other top MPD officials held with 13 LGBT activists on August 16 was constructive… Brian, I agree that GLLU should be fully staffed and functioning; but it is not appropriate for the Council to micromanage MPD to the extent of specifying the size of individual units, nor is there any likelihood they would do this. We must hold the Chief accountable, work with her as best we can, and also convey our concerns to Mayor Gray.
    **
    Rick, upon review, I think “constructive” and “productive” are adequate, accurate soundbites to describe activists’ meeting with the Chief.
    But there is absolutely NO REASON emergency legislation by the Council to mandate an orderly upgrade of GLLU’s core unit can’t happen. All over America, in city councils, county councils, town councils, big and small, police chiefs, police commissioners and sheriffs are ORDERED by those councils to make immediate changes in local police staffing (and it can go either way, up or down) based upon new crime conditions or important other factors.  
      It happened to the police chief in our family a number of times during his tenure– after collaborative consultation with his councils and mayors. Sometimes, he disagreed, but he saluted his mayor and council and implemented the required changes, respecting it was part of a fully legitimate political process, usually required to respond to changing circumstances.  
      That’s what we have here… Both a crisis in LGBT public confidence in MPD’s ability to serve and protect DC’s LGBT residents and visitors, as well as increasing de facto anti-LGBT INSTITUTIONAL DISCRIMINATION at MPD brought about, IMO, by Chief Lanier’s reckless slashing of GLLU’s core unit– IN HALF!
      It is laughable that Lanier solemnly promised your group “to look into” why GLLU officers are less visible on the streets and in locales where LGBT people gather. She knows darn well why that’s so. It’s because that is the way SHE wanted it. Likewise, with less GLLU officers available, she knew detectives and first responders would likely not be calling GLLU for help.  
      Do you seriously think police chiefs operate in some kind of ignorant vacuum? I can tell you from my experience with Lanier, she keeps her ears very close to the pavement, close to her commands, and even close to her Citizens Advisory Councils. The notion that she was unaware of the consequences of slashing GLLU’s core is preposterous. Likewise, do you think her replacement of a Captain at SLU with a civilian was just another Chief’s “rookie mistake”??? Lots of us smelled that coffee long ago.  
    The LGBT community should thank its stars that Jim Graham is proactively pushing on this. It was terrific he showed up at the meeting and pushed Lanier directly again.  
      Jim Graham gets this — in his gut! A growing number of casual LGBT observers of this increasing violent crime wave directed at DC’s LGBT people get it, too. Lanier created this mistrust and fear in the LGBT community by cutting GLLU central — deceptively and stealthily,
    BTW. Peter’s got a good instinct about this, too.
      But I’m sure a lot of us don’t understand why Vincent Gray, Phil Mendelson, others on the Council, and you don’t get it.  
      The public safety of the LGBT community deserves emergency Council action, NOW. The Mayor’s, too. I shouldn’t have to remind you that both Vincent Gray and Phil Mendelson– just a year ago– promised LGBT voters they would restore GLLU’s core to its full former strent (2010 GLAA survey questions 12 and 13, eh?).
    We don’t need any more show hearings of the Judiciary Committee, nor backpedaling by the Mayor, nor Jeff Richardson — nor GLAA… nor more feel-good meetings by the Chief whose incompetence created this community fear and mistrust to begin with.  
      Vincent Gary and Phil Mendelson should seriously fulfill their campaign promises to LGBT voters (and their straight neighbors and friends) who trusted those promises.  
      And GLAA, Rick, should stop making nonsense excuses for their foot-dragging.
    ###

    • Brian, chill. You wrote: “…All over America, in city councils, … police chiefs … are ORDERED by those councils to make immediate changes in local police staffing … based upon new crime conditions or important other factors…” What ‘s the urgency in DC? What precipitates “immediate changes in police staffing … based upon new crime conditions or important other factors…?” Cite a continual pattern of egregious crime activities warranting such drastic and immediate changes?

      Hummm. Just as I thought; there are none. Might want to make sure you lock your triple dead bolts on your doors each night and you wear your flak jacket and protective eye wear when walking the streets…

  • Not to belittle the needs of the Community, but you do realize Mayor Gray has pretty much fulfilled none of his promises or commitments to any community. As for Lanier, she has ruined MPD. Take the time to talk to any street Officer, and you’ll find morale is worse than it was in the 90s when the Department had a paycut. MPDs attrition rate is higher than anyone wants to admit, and there has been a hiring freeze for the last 2 years. The forty or so Officers they “might” hire in October won’t make up for the 500 that left for other agencies in the last three years. Those 500 were the cream of the crop, not the overweight lazy ones everyone complains about. Its nice to talk about bringing back units like GLUU, but its hard to fill the ranks of a specialized unit when there aren’t enough Officers in roll call to handle basic duties. Lanier’s popularity stems from the fact that she will promise any group anything they want, often at the expense of her Officers and even more often than not ultimately not fulfilled.

  • Thanks, chaz. I hear that, and don’t disagree obviously. That’s important news and context f/ the ranks, too. Is the high attrition rate due to the hiring freeze and resultant extra work? Failure to keep up pay levels with other area agencies? Or what? This is back door carving across-the-board then? Have any news folks reported that story?

    • @Brian-the growing attrition rate is due to job dissatisfaction and distrust in management. This incident is a perfect example. All we know is one version of the story; 5 members of the LGBT community were attacked by two males and the police did nothing. While it sounds terrible, we haven’t heard the Officers side of the story, nor have we heard the version from the two attackers. In reality, it could very well turn out that there were seven lazy Officers on their way back from Jumbo Slice, and that they failed to take Police action. If that is the case they have disgraced the Department and deserve to be fired; but that should be determined by a thorough investigation, not by the Chief holding street court based on public opinion. Ultimately, if these Officers are fired, they will get their jobs back because of the Chief’s determining their guilt before the investigation even began. That is why 84% of Officers fired by Chief Lanier have gotten their jobs back( with more in the pipe). Some of those Officers deserved without a doubt deserved to be fired, but she dismissed their due process rights in light of some good publicity, and the District ultimately pays the price( both figuratively and literally, when the crap Officer is reinstated and 5 years of back pay and punitive damages are paid to them). On the flipside of the coin, if these Officers were management, this issue would be swept under the rug and never addressed. You also have things like AHOD. Everyone likes seeing the Officers writing tickets on Friday and Saturday nights, but both an Arbitrator and an Appeals board said they violate the Labor Agreement. They are to be stopped immediately, and back overtime is due to all Officers. That should have been the end of it. Instead, the Chief is dragging on the issue, going so far as to create a wedge between the Officers and the CItizens by emailing listserves and portraying them as a lazy, greedy Union workers that just want the weekends off. That is like General Petraeus going to the Afghani people and declaring that the US Army is a corrupt organization that must be stopped. If your boss in the private sector did something this contemptuous, you would quit. If you read the both the arbitrators and the PERBS decision, it is very clear that she violated the contract, and it had nothing to do with 2 weekends in 2009. If AHODs were really that important, why not renegotiate the contract and comply with the law, instead of disregarding the law? Then you have issues like the Trinidad roadblocks, Sheengate and the Groomes cheating scandal, but at this point I’m beating a dead horse. What it comes down to is that everyday Officers feel that managment that can’t be trusted.

      Any detractors that say that if “if the cops don’t like the job they can quit” need to wake up and realize cops are quiting every day. Inner City police experience is invaluable to Federal agencies like the FBI and DEA, and surrounding agencies like Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Montgomery, USPP, etc. The majority of local agencies are even buying the Officers time from MPD when they come on, so it wont even effect their paychecks or retirement. The young Officers that are fit, have college experience, and like serving their community are going full Lorax and hopping to Agencies that appreciate them.

  • Thanks, again, chaz. Yours seems to be an excellent detail of the problems at MPD. However, I’m coming to understand that MPD’s problems are not entirely with the Chief.

    The Mayor and the Council (representing we, the people) are largely responsible for MPD budget amounts and resource allocations. How much is the Chief hamstrung by budget priorities made by her civilian commanders? Is the Mayor and the Council demanding more policing productivity/ patrols/ crime deterrence than their MPD budgets reasonably permit? It seems we are, with out much forethought as to systemic consequences, not just cutting into MPD’s muscle, but right down to its bone. That’s an extraordinary problem for any Chief.

    No politician wants to have a conversation with his/her constituents regarding budget allocations among essential, very popular city services during the toughest economic downturn in many decades. But what’s not essential about DC’s public safety? Maybe voters and/or their leaders have to insist upon that conversation.

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