Friday, June 17, 2011

Police redistricting smackdown: Jim Graham vs Chief Cathy Lanier

Round one, fight! Ward 1 councilman and MPD Chief Cathy Lanier got into in a bit on the MPD 3D Substation listserve over a plan to move a couple police service areas into the 4th police district (right now all of Ward 1 is in the 3rd district.)

Graham argues "[in the past,] With the 4D headquarters many blocks away up on the 6000 block of Georgia Avenue, all manner of problems of communications, chain of command had resulted for years.  It was nowhere near as convenient for Ward 1 residents as the 3D headquarters and the Substation." 

Chief Lanier responded "Police boundaries should prioritize optimal police service as well as minimize risk to police officers...This move is absolutely critical, because the Third District currently has the highest volume of crime in the city, and the third highest volume of calls for service. Since the Fourth District has a much lower workload, the move would enable both police districts to better serve the residents of Ward 1."

Ok, it's not really a smackdown, but it's interesting to see it in public. Graham also claimed that only the City Council could change the borders.

Personally I think Lanier is right, since it's basically an artificial boundary anyway, but what do you think?


  1. There are seven police districts and eight wards...some of the wards are going to have to be split. The proximity of the district headquarters to neighborhoods is a canard. Police officers aren't dispatched from the district headquarters, nor do they sit there waiting for a call. They are out in their cars/bikes/feet/whatever.

  2. If this is round 1 - Chief Lanier wins hands down. Her plan is well researched and clearly the best objective for every resident and visitor not just a few. A consummate professional, Lanier has her ideas all in order here, and everyone should be on her side of this. I hope Jim Graham will open his eyes and realize this is a positive change for everyone, including his constituents!

  3. I don't know much about this personally, but several long-term residents who have experienced both 3D and 4D are absolutely livid about this, and it sounds like for good reason. They had terrible experience / disinterest in enforcement from 4D, with much beter responsiveness from 3D, as Graham talks about. I've also been told that the reason crime rates are artificially low in 4D is in part because of lack of aggressive investigation of crime. Again, I have no idea either way, I've just heard this from a few long-time residents who have a lot of experience dealing with both 3D and 4D. Perhaps things have changed for the better since then, who knows ...

  4. i am still shocked that CoHi (3d apparently) has the highest volume of crime in the city! awesome! glad i own a home here.


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