D.C. Police Union Chief Questions Inaugural Deployment Plans
The leader of the D.C. police union is concerned about the department’s plans for police deployment during Inauguration weekend, especially in light of a recent decision by the D.C. Council to extend the hours of operation for bars and restaurants.
“How do they expect us to do this?” said Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, which represents D.C. officers. Baumann said that rank-and-file officers will be tapped for inauguration duty -- which is common during special events -- but that the recent council decision would put an additional strain on resources. Under emergency legislation approved by the council Tuesday, bars and nightclubs can serve alcohol until 5 a.m. and stay open for food service around-the-clock from Jan. 17-21.
Baumann believes that extra officers will be needed to make sure that late night partygoers are following the law.
“This sounds like a recipe for disaster,” he said.
Sources have said that police chiefs of other cities, including Philadelphia's Charles H. Ramsey, who used to head the D.C. department, have offered to send officers to help.
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) and Chief Cathy L. Lanier said Wednesday that the city and the department will step up to meet any challenges.
By Theola Labbé-DeBose
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