D.C. To Put All Officers On Overtime In Crime-Prevention Bid


Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier is putting all 3,300 sworn officers on overtime this weekend, adding foot patrols, and expanding a network of surveillance cameras in hopes of preventing the usual wave of violence that comes in summer months, says the Washington Post. Officers already are playing catch-up in many neighborhoods. In her first year on the job, Lanier has vowed to be proactive in fighting crime, particularly in the busy summertime. Commanders have spent weeks looking at trends and mapping strategies. The number of homicides picked up with several slayings this past weekend, including one of a 13-year-old.

The chief had her staff compile crime data going back five years, down to the block, looking at various types of crimes and when they were most likely to occur. The idea is to predict where criminals are most apt to strike — and make sure police are there to stop them. Five neighborhood surveillance cameras will be added this week and 24 by the end of June, for a total of 72 across the city. “It’s time to stop letting the criminals outsmart us,” Lanier said. “We’ve turned this into a thinking game.” The number of homicides this year is up significantly: 74, compared with 64 at this point last year. Lanier hopes to bring down crime this summer without declaring an emergency — an approach she says will save money and boost morale. The extra coverage that former chief Charles Ramsey ordered cost the department about $14 million in overtime last year. Even though officers were making more money, they were not happy: They complained about the long weeks and the loss of summer vacations.

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/05/AR2007060502432.html

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