Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier asserts that crime in her city dropped 10 percent last weekend as a result of an “all hands on deck” initiative in which 3,300 members of the force worked a pair of overtime shifts, the Washington Post reports. Police made 650 arrests — double the number for an average weekend. Relatively few were for violent crimes. The largest share — 153 — was for prostitution and related crimes, followed by 118 arrests for reckless driving and other serious traffic offenses.
The police activity drew praise from some neighborhood activists and kept judges working into the night. The impact could be short-lived: Lanier is not planning to repeat the weekend blitz this summer. Some officers grumbled that the approach was show, not substance. “Officers know a P.R. stunt when they see it,” said Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Labor Committee, adding that it was a drain on resources to have officers work a pair of 12-hour shifts. “They are saying, ‘Here we go again.’ ” The department’s research shows that the weekends aren’t even the busiest time in some high-crime areas, he said. Lanier believes the expanded police presence, which cost about $1.3 million in overtime, sent neighborhood residents the message that the department is responsive to community concerns.