Lanier Plans “Precision Patrol Teams” In D.C. Crime Hot Spots


Cathy Lanier, set to become the police chief in Washington, D.C., will use “precision patrol teams” to reduce crime in certain parts of the city, focusing on the places and times when criminals are most apt to strike, says the Washington Post. She intends to give more authority to commanders and beat officers in the 3,800-member force to customize their own crime-fighting programs. “With community policing, there is not one template you can implement across the city,” Lanier said. “Every neighborhood is different.” She added: “I want us to be innovative. I want us to change the way we do this to mirror a successful business.”

“Community policing has become a motherhood, apple pie catchphrase,” said criminologist Brian Forst of American University. “It means different things in different places. If you look in New York City, it means arresting the turnstile jumpers. In Seattle it means bringing back Officer Friendly.” Andrew Karmen, a criminologist and sociology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said Lanier’s goals seem attuned to victims’ concerns. Karmen said victims want police to show up quickly when they call, to be treated with sensitivity, for their case to be solved, and for police to be transparent about what they’re doing.


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