D.C. Chief Declares Crisis, Suspends Work Rules

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Washington, D.C.’s police chief declared a crime “crisis” in the capital suspended parts of a collective collective bargaining agreement so that officers are on call 24 hours a day.

The Washington Post says police union leaders dispute Chief Charles Ramsey’s action, saying that summer violence isn’t a legal “state of emergency,” compared with a terrorist attack or major protest demonstrations.

Ramsey countered that increases like a 58 percent rise in homicides in one police district constitutes an emergency. The last time a chief suspended scheduling rules was in 1989 in a similar spate of violence. “I’m very, very concerned about crime in the District,” Ramsey said. “Violence in our city shows signs of approaching levels not seen here for several years.”

One aspect of the violence surge are attacks against men who live as women, including two fatal shootings Wednesday night and yesterday morning, the Post says. Police say the two latest shootings do not appear to be connected, and neither is there an apparent link to the fatal shooting of a transgender person Saturday. Transgender activists said Washington is one of the nation’s most dangerous places for men who live as women. There have been five killings since last summer, most unsolved, police said.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A28906-2003Aug21.html

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