- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The D.C. Council agreed unanimously yesterday on legislation to continue the enforcement of some of the emergency crime measures passed this summer.

The bill renews for 90 days three of the provisions passed by the council in early July, after an increase in violent crime.

The provisions authorize the continued use of neighborhood-surveillance cameras, some offenders being held until trial and police still having access to juvenile criminal records.

The bill was written and introduced by council member Phil Mendelson, at-large Democrat, and is a compromise between the council and Mayor Anthony A. Williams, a Democrat.

The bill does not have a provision Mr. Williams included Tuesday in similar legislation, which gave the mayor the power to set the time for the city’s juvenile curfew.

Though the bill still allows police to see juvenile records, it limits their access to the offender’s name, address, date of birth and condition of release. Unlike the July emergency bill, it does not allow them full access to case files.

“There was a broad class of juveniles for whom the information can be shared,” Mr. Mendelson said. “We’ve narrowed that … . We substantially moved to finding a balance.”

Mr. Mendelson said he removed the curfew provision and limited the access so the bill could meet the requirements of a statute barring passage of the same bill more than once on an emergency basis.

Charlotte Brookins-Hudson, the council’s attorney, told The Washington Times last month the bill would require a “very substantial modification” to be permitted under the statute, which is designed to prevent city officials from circumventing the congressional review period to which D.C. laws are subject.

Mrs. Brookins-Hudson said the bill met the requirement in part because of Mr. Mendelson’s changes.

Council member Adrian M. Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat and the Democratic nominee for mayor, was the only council member to vote against the legislation in July. He said yesterday he supports Mr. Mendelson’s changes to the bill.

“I’m behind what Mendelson did with it,” Mr. Fenty said. “That’s better than what we had before.”

The bill includes $12.7 million for youth-violence prevention, the purchase and operation of additional neighborhood-surveillance cameras, additional police overtime pay and extended hours and staffing at city recreation facilities.

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