When Chief Cathy Lanier declared a “crime emergency” state late last week in response to the rumored threat against the DC and NYC areas, which allowed her to move officers to 12-hour shifts if necessary, as well as cancel existing leave. That can certainly be frustrating to a department’s employees, and that may why the Fraternal Order of Police’s Kris Baumann has been making some noise considering the declaration. It’s the first crime emergency declaration since 2006, and could affect the overtime pay of the officers in relation to long shifts around 9/11, according to Baumann, who blames Lanier for not scheduling better ahead of the anniversary.
Chief Lanier fired back on the MPD-3D listserv last night against Baumann, citing a long involvement in the Homeland Security community and the specificity and credibility of the threat that necessitated the change to the schedules, as well as identifying a clearly-applicable funding source for covering the costs of the overtime. Her whole statement is after the cut.
Animosity between the Chief and FOP’s Baumann has been an undercurrent of Lanier’s tenure as MPD’s top brass, with significant rows between them over the police escort of Charlie Sheen and other celebrities, and residency requirements for MPD Officers. It’s been a difficult year for MPD, with 23 officers accused of, or convicted of, crimes.
First and foremost, you can’t put a cost on securing the Nation’s Capital. I am going to do whatever is necessary to keep our community safe. I have been heavily involved in Homeland Security for more than 10 years and have rarely seen threat streams that are both specific to Washington DC AND credible. So questioning whether this is necessary is a no-brainer.
That aside, The President of the United States includes funding for the District specifically for “response to immediate and specific terrorist threats to the District of Columbia.” It is created to avoid exactly this type of dilemma – choosing between the security of our City and cost.
It’s unfathomable that Chairman Baumann would question the deployment of the dedicated men and women to safeguard the residents and visitors of the District of Columbia; after all we are sworn to protect and serve.
The White House released a similar statement today stating “this is not useless chatter and our vigilance will continue.”