Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC
A reader brought this up earlier in the week.
Sent from Chief Lanier to the MPD listservs yesterday:
“Lately I have received a lot of inquiries from members of the community about what the latest decision on the All Hands on Deck actually means to our crime fighting strategy. Since there is a lot of misinformation in the press I wanted to take a few moments to give you some accurate background on the issue.
In 2006, in response to a spike in violent crimes and homicides in the early summer, Chief Ramsey declared a crime emergency. By declaring the crime emergency the union contract was suspended and all members of the department were required to work 12 hours a day, six days a week. The Crime Emergency remained in place for nearly six months and cost the city 17 million dollars in overtime expenses. While I agree that the steps Chief Ramsey took at the time were necessary to keep our residents safe, it was very hard on the members of the police department, who had to cancel leave, vacations, and days off.
When I became the Chief in 2007, I proposed the concept of the All Hands on Deck to our labor union and their membership. I received their concurrence that violent crime spikes are predicable. As such, we did a detailed crime analysis and selected four to six dates a year, when violent crime was most prevalent, and scheduled the entire Department to work. On those dates, those not assigned to patrol (i.e. Administrative and support personnel) are deployed on the street to increase visibility and prevent crime. We publish these dates in January of every year so our members can schedule their vacations and personal time around them. This initiative requires a minimal time commitment, requires no overtime, and allows the officers to maintain two days off during the AHOD week. Lastly, only a small number of officers are impacted by the AHOD.
As far as the arbitrators ruling, and recent PERB decision, our attorneys assure me that they only impact two AHODs in 2009 and no others. Additionally, they in no way preclude us from holding future AHODS.
I am committed to continuing the AHOD initiative because it provides consistent results to our residents. A prime example of this is that during our last AHOD we had a 24% crime reduction compared to the same timeframe last year.
AHOD is one piece of my crime fighting strategy and I am happy to report that as a result of our collective efforts, residents and visitors to the District of Columbia are enjoying historically low homicide rates, unprecedented homicide closure rates, and huge decreases in gun crimes. There can be no dispute that our city is safer today because of our crime fighting efforts and strategies.”