- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Lanier praises homicide-free weekend

Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on Monday praised the second phase of her signature All Hands on Deck initiative, citing increased arrests and no homicides.

“I am very pleased with our result,” she said. “We had no homicides over the weekend, and residents continued to welcome the increased police presence in their neighborhoods.”

Chief Lanier said the department increased foot patrols and focused on traffic safety and pursuing outstanding warrants during the initiative, which extended from Friday to Sunday.

Police reported 464 arrests, a increase of 66 percent over the same period last year. There were eight homicides during the same three-day period in 2007.

Officials said that 28 guns were recovered over and that police recruits were sent to neighborhoods to follow up on complaints and talk to residents.

The weeks leading up to the second phase marked a sharp contrast to those before the first phase, which were marred by a rash of shootings that led to a increase in homicides.

Chief Lanier doubled, then tripled the number of officers on patrol in the 5th Police District after the series of retaliatory shootings shortly before the first phase, which ran from May 2 to 4.

During All Hands on Deck, the entire 4,000-officer department works patrol shifts over three-day periods.

Chief Lanier has touted the initiative as an investment in community relations and as a way to show the strength of the department while she tries to reach the department’s full sworn strength of 4,200 officers by October 2009.

Critics of the plan have said it is public-relations policing and does not address the root causes of crime.

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