Mayor Williams is calling for a full efficiency review of the MPD as part of the Crime Emergency, to see how efficiently the current police force is being used and to look at expanding the active officer corps on the street to a level as high as 5,100 police officers for the city. Is more police the answer, or is better policing the answer?
I hope that we can stop and examine current policy before it’s decided by fiat that there is significant need for an expanded police force. The better question is: if they need to expand the force, can they do it? It’s fairly difficult to find quality recruits who are willing to work in the MPD. In 2003 when DC added 175 officers, the Post points out it took more than a year to find that many qualified candidates and cope with attrition. How long will it take to add an additional 1,300 officers?
Better yet, where do we focus them? Do we bolster the current districts? Redistrict the city to create a more efficient system? There are a lot of questions we have to answer before it’s decided that we need a larger officer corps.
This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs