Lanier, D.C.’s New “Proactive” Chief, Vows “Huge Changes”


Washington, D.C.’s City Council has unanimously approved Cathy Lanier s the new police chief, clearing the way for her to make sweeping changes in the way the department attacks crime, reports the Washington Post. “I’m trying to change the whole mentality and mood of the agency. We are going to go from reactive to proactive,” Lanier said. “You’ll see huge changes.”

Mayor Adrian Fenty selected Lanier for the position soon after he was elected in November. Lanier, a 16-year veteran of the force, will be D.C.’s first permanent female police chief. She has been acting chief since December, when she took over for Charles Ramsey. She will have a five-year contract that pays $175,000 annually, matching Ramsey’s salary. Lanier has come up with a wide-reaching plan that gives her seven district commanders the task of studying long- and short-term crime trends, economic data, and population shifts to cut crime in their districts. The strategies would differ by neighborhood. Effectiveness would be tested two mornings a week at crime briefings: Large maps of the city would be projected on the wall with icons depicting the crimes that had occurred. “If their strategy is not working, they will have to tell me why,” Lanier said. “It will require anyone who is in a command position to do some thinking and problem-solving.”


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