In a symbolic gesture, following a recent spike in crime – particularly homicides — the DC Police Union gave the Department chief a vote of “no-confidence.”
According to the local NBC affiliate, of the 1,150 officers polled, 97.5 percent said they have ‘no confidence’ in Cathy Lanier’s ability to “manage the Metropolitan Police Department and keep the public safe.”
Just last week, the DC mayor went before the press to announce that she’d be asking for more police power as homicide rates are on the rise. The number of murders now surpassing the 100-mark and prompting the city’s leader to ask for expanded law enforcement powers.
Mayor Bowser expressed her confidence in Lanier then and she’s still backing the police chief now.
But union officials are not. “We‘ve been told that the status quo is working and we‘ve been forced into a corner of lackluster, feckless, inefficient enforcement,” the union said in a press release.
Lanier believes the “All Hands on Deck” initiative—which flooded DC’s streets with officers — may have influenced the vote. The initiative, aimed to limit a recent spike in crime, deployed extra officers “in cruisers, on bikes and on foot in all seven police districts from 3 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday.”
Union head Delroy Burton told local media: “The most frustrating thing right now for our members, is that we have an uptick in crime and they’re being deployed in such a way that makes it extremely difficult for them to provide good police service.”
All Metro PD officers were pulled from vacation, desk duty and other details Friday through Sunday for an “All Hands on Deck” response to crime, NBC reported.
In a statement released on Sunday, Lanier said: “I realize that officers don’t like their schedules disrupted and I try to minimize it, but when we have violent crime we have to make the sacrifices that we all swore we would make when we took this job.”
So far in 2015, the D.C. homicide rate is up 43 percent, compared with the same period in 2014. Lanier and the union are reportedly at odds over a solution for the recent spike in crime. Rank-and-file officers question the dismantling of vice units and also take issue with Lanier’s policy that prevents officers from leaving designated areas.