30 May 2006

Did You Have Any Trouble Getting MPD-5D Response this Past Weekend?

If so - or if an officer mysteriously showed up on foot - WUSA9 just found out why (emphases mine):

If you called for police in parts of Northeast DC over the holiday weekend, they may have arrived late or on foot, according to officers assigned to the area.

Up to 20 squad cars are being held off the streets, but not because of mechanical problems or staff shortages. 9 News has learned the cars being are grounded because they can't find the gas keys.

From the street you can see the police cars lined up at Fifth District headquarters with no place to go, no officers assigned to them. This is one of the highest crime areas of the city.

Police sources say [. . .] Fifth District Commander [Jennifer Green] ordered sergeants to stop issuing the cars because some officers have been repeatedly leaving their shifts and taking home the keys to the gas caps.

9 News obtained a copy of the MPD memo that identified the scout cars that were being pulled from the streets. The mileage and amount of gas were noted for each car to make sure the vehicles were not moved, were not assigned to the streets.

The officers who would have been in these cars have been assigned to foot patrol or they are doubling and tripling up in the available cars.

Fifth District Commander Jennifer Green is on vacation and unavailable for comment but sources say she has refused to use available dollars to replace the missing gas keys. Fifth District cruisers use those keys to gas up at a DC government lot in Northeast, along with other city vehicles. There is no way officers could use the gas keys or these pumps for their personal use according to sources.

Late Tuesday afternoon we got a call back from DC police officials, who say Public Safety was not comprised over the past three days in the Fifth District. They admit that cars were pulled from service and that foot patrols were increased as a result. But they say those administrative measures were needed to reign in the use of the gas keys. Officials say some of the keys were being used to fill up multiple scout cars preventing any accountability.

?!? Sure, I understand you want the keys back, but it's not as if they're irreplaceable, or that the officers are children and that sort of hand-slapping does them, or more importantly us, any good.

only $33.13 + s&h! easily deducted from payroll if the original keys aren't returned within 1 day!!
I even found this online, available only to law enforcement. That $9.99 + s&h is worth my tax dollars if it means keeping the already low number of patrol cars, well, ON PATROL. I heard for myself at this past week's 5A meeting that we are currently covered by less than an ideal number of officers; bunching them up (in threes!) only dilutes their effectiveness more. And how long will this continue?

You can watch the video clip at the WUSA9 link above, and see WaPo's piece here.


  1. Oh, I'm funny, but not that funny.

  2. I've seen Commander Greene at some of the PSA meetings. She's a serious person. My read of this is that she wouldn't do this without a good reason...

    Also: they are ELECTRONIC keys, that allow the officers to fill up the car at a department pump. Like the speedpass, maybe?

    I think she's trying to stop some abuse, and getting mischaracterized by the union in the media.

  3. That may be, but then I'd still fall back on the "bring back the keys in 1 day or the replacement charges are coming out of everyone's next check" punishment, rather than taking patrol cars off the street. We just went through a rash of shootings last week, and from what I can tell on the listservs, there were a number over the weekend. The officers sharing cars would likely respond to those, but then what when another call(s) takes place at the same time? 20 cars can make a huge difference in response time.

    Now that you have a Blogger profile, when are you starting a blog? Maybe you can help keep me in check on this one ;)

  4. Dunno. I trust Greene. No way I want her job.

    Blog? Naaah...I just got an ID because some moron was spoofing my ID on another thread. I got no time for this stuff!



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.