Props to the Cops And Chief Lanier Signs for 5 More Years With MPD

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

Gunshots near Pennsylvania SE and Potomac Ave SE

Last night [Tuesday] Officers from DC Housing Authority Police were inside of Potomac Gardens when they heard the sound of gunshots. The officers called for assistance and responded to the courtyard area where they encountered two armed suspects. After a foot chase both suspects were apprehended and two firearms were recovered.

And in other news WTOP reported on MPD Chief Cathy Lanier’s new contract:

The District’s top cop signed a new five-year, quarter-million-dollar contract late Tuesday night.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s deal keeps her annual salary at the current $253,000 and contains no annual raises or bonuses, according to a source familiar with the deal.

28 Comment

  • I learned recently from the DC police that DC has no laws against loitering. That’s just something to keep in mind if you ever want to get a gang of people to not hang out at a particular place.

    • I’m pretty sure the Constitution is pretty clear on the issue of not arresting people for standing around.

      • Lots of other jurisdictions don’t seem to think so.

        • This issue has been addressed so many times on this blog, OK, Ill do it again. It IS unconstitutional to arrest people for standing on a side walk. Loitering laws, in order to comply with the constitution, must have an additional element. You must be loitering with purpose of committing a crime, loitering and causing a nuisance, etc, etc. When a jurisdiction has “loitering” laws that’s what it means. D.C. does not have any loitering law. If it were to pass one, it would have to include the extra element, or the courts would not uphold it. Anon X is correct, you can’t arrest people for just standing around. Although, in jurisdictions with loitering laws, cops have a way of filling out their police reports in, lets just say, “creative” ways to make sure that those arrested were loitering +(include extra element here).

          • I was once arrested for vagrancy in a small town. Bad move by the cops there. Don’t mess with a special forces Vietnam vet, but if you do, don’t ever draw First Blood.

          • “I once got a paper cut, right on my tongue.” — Barbra Streisand in The Main Event.

          • Just curious, what if bouncers are trying to clear the sidewalk/area. Are you entitled to stand there if you want regardless if you were in the club or not? Can they make you move? I have see it very often where bouncers/moonlighting cops force and then sometimes arrest people for not clearing the block/sidewalk. Is that any different given they are supposedly clearing it for “safety” reasons?

          • In Answer to Kam. Yep many jurisdictions allow police to move people who are creating a disturbance, impeding normal flow of pedestrian traffic etc.

      • Could you imagine if it were illegal…all of the people complaining “why are police wasting their time arresting people for standing around instead of ____.”

  • I think sometimes I’m too blasé about the police here, but this really brings it home to me. Middle of your shift at work, you hear gunshots, you run towards them, you see two guys with guns, and you chase them. That takes real guts. Thanks police.

    I’m happy to hear Lanier is staying. I’m a fan of hers.

  • I guess she’s doing as good as anyone possibly could, without being given the total authority that would be necessary to declare a zero-tolerance, all-out war on crime in our city.

  • that seems like a lot of money. the vice president makes $240k.

    • It *IS* a lot. Sorry, but she’s not doing *that* great of a job, but she spins PR well.

      The MPD officers have gone 5-6 years without ANY pay raise, yet her pay has gone up 40%?! Not sure that makes sense.

      • I think she’s earned it, and she works 24/7 in a job that is often thankless. Perhaps the VP should make more…

    • It seems like a pretty reasonable salary to me given everything she is responsible for… There are a lot of people in this city doing a lot less for a lot more $$.

  • I’m curious about other people’s perceptions of Chief Lanier. I’ve only lived in DC a little over a year, but she seems to be doing a good job. I remember seeing her from afar when Bryant Morillo was killed in Petworth. I was impressed that she was on the scene on a cool Sunday afternoon when she could have been home with her family and monitoring from there. She is also responsive on the MPD 4D listserve, and I wonder if that’s the case for chiefs in other metro areas. I still want to high-five whoever came up with the strategy that led to the arrest of the hammer-wielding guy.

  • She’s doing the best she can in the face of almost-constant hamstringing by folks like Mendo, who do almost everything they can to make sure criminals, especially teenage criminals, can game the system in their favor.

  • Lanier and Groomes are awesome and so responsive. I sometimes wonder if it’s really them answering emails so quickly. I bet they have a team of officers fielding their inbox.

    Indeed, their hands are sometimes tied. I once asked MPD leadership why they don’t try the “Don’t Shoot” method that is apparently working so well in other cities (where the Police crack down hard on the worst, let the community know they care and mean business) and they responded to me — there was community push back. Right, come down hard on the kids and gangsters with guns and the elected leaders get pressure from the community so tell the police to stop? And we wonder why DC still has so much violent crime.

  • I wish that someone (other than me) would organize some sort of voter guide to DC politicians that says where they stand on a range of issues, including crime, funding for bike lanes, taking action against deadbeat slumlords, etc. Right now, I feel like there is no way to know what any of these people think or to judge one against another, which lets them all off the hook.

  • Not a fan for the following reasons:

    *Takes raises and earns a quarter of a million dollars while officers under her command haven’t had a contract for years and not even a cost of living increase (See:
    *Frequent and blatant violations of the current contract in place with the union.
    *Continues to violate the contract because she knows that she knows that she’ll never have to answer for violations, personally or professionally. Will also never have to answer for rights violations that she ordered (See: and Trinidad checkpoints)
    *Violations of bright-line, written in stone provisions of D.C. municipal regulations with regards to the punishment and termination of officers. There’s plenty of ways to do so, but her and her flunkies can’t seem to follow the rules. (See:
    *Violates due process rights in department hearings by essentially ordering results before a hearing is held (See:
    *Throws both citizens and officers under the bus, or acquiesces to that by her bosses, in the media before an investigation is complete. (See: and
    *Massages the statistics on the number of officers actually on the street. There may be 3800 officers, but subtracting the number of officials, officers on injury, sick and administrative leave, and inside positions shows that there are a significant number of officers who don’t do street police work.
    *AHODs. They’re a dog and pony show that achieves little to anything. If anyone in the media had some balls, they’d FOIA the roll calls and deployment reports during AHOD. Most AHODs consist of a lot of redeployed officers hiding until they come out to do one or two “safety compliance checkpoints” and then going ghost when its time to check off, usually an hour early. They also rob Peter to pay Paul in terms of district manpower (i.e. officers who normally are off Friday/Saturday or Sunday/Monday have their days off changed) by causing a glut of manpower on some days before AHODS and shortages the following week. The same goes for events like IMF/World Bank, etc. Additionally, investigators get redeployed to other districts to stand on fixed posts, etc. instead of working their cases in the district they’re assigned.
    *The trimming of specialized units in order to shift people back to the districts. This means that units like Human Trafficking and various Narcotics and Special Investigations units are short because the powers that be want to pad the number of officers in districts.
    *Letting incompetents run important areas like Fleet Management and Districts.
    *Does not take any input whatsoever from rank-and-file officers on how to constructively improve the department or its operations.
    *Continues to maintain the thicket of General Orders and other regulations that are mainly used as a club to discipline officers instead of providing guidance and best-practices for officers. The regulations applying to officers is approximately a foot tall if stacked on top of eachother. Bedrock general orders for patrol haven’t been updated since the 1970s.
    *Continues poor management practices that will never allow MPD to be CALEA certified (See: Try comparing the professionalism of the management of MPD to that of Alexandria, Prince William County, Virginia State Police, Montgomery County Police, etc. See the difference?

    There’s a whole litany of things that I’m sure other officers can name that demonstrate why there isn’t reason to cheer for Chief Lanier to get five more years to run MPD. I do give her credit for some modernization of certain areas of MPD and her community involvement, but on the whole her management style is detrimental to the city and the department.

    (Disclaimer before the ad hominems start, I’m not disgruntled, have less then 10 years on, am college educated, and bust my ass every day I work. Members of the community that I police can attest that I’m out every day, visible, and working.)

    • Interesting information. Thanks for sharing.

    • From skimming Stating_the_Obvious’s post, I see his/her point as far as Lanier having done a lot of things that officers aren’t thrilled with… but the things she’s done, while perhaps unpopular with police themselves, have largely pleased D.C. residents.

      I don’t think they set up her salary increase very well in her contract, though, though. Who else in the public sector sees their pay jump from $175K to $250K in five years??

  • I think she earns every dime she’s paid, and DC is lucky to have her. Remember the WashPost article at least 4 or 5 years ago about the salary earned by the president of Gallaudet University? It was higher than almost every area college or university president, and the enrollment was more like one of the bigger high schools in the area. And even at that, it was at least $50,000 more than Chief Lanier gets right now.

    • Well, that’s not true if we’re only talking 300k. The president of Gtown makes a million, followed closely by GW, UMD’s presidents. American, Catholic and Mason’s President’s are closer to 500k.

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