Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Incoming D.C. Police Chief Promotes Reform

The Metropolitan Police Department may bolster its presence in Georgetown next month, as part of new crime-prevention polices promoted by Cathy Lanier, who was appointed the District of Columbia’s new chief of police last week.

Lanier, who was picked to lead MPD by Washington, D.C., ayor-elect Adrian Fenty, will likely take office in January. She plans to improve local law enforcement through a tactic she calls “community policing,” she said in a discussion Wednesday on https://www.washingtonpost.com. Department of Public Safety Director Darryl Harrison said that the term emphasizes that effective law enforcement requires local police to establish good relationships with community members and tailor enforcement to each neighborhood’s specific concerns.

“It’s engaging the community, and having the community engage what difficult issues they need to address,” Harrison said. “These issues can be noise and litter, or they can be drugs and violence.”

In a statement released by his spokesperson, Masara Hobson, Fenty said that he believed Lanier’s strategy would increase police presence in Georgetown and lead to lower local crime rates.

“The residents, students and customers who frequent Georgetown will feel safer as crime decreases,” Fenty said in the statement. “They can also expect a cooperative relationship between MPD and the neighborhoods so that each gains confidence in the other.”

Victoria Rixey, president of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, said that Lanier’s plan has been needed for a long time and will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

“We are delighted to hear about Cathy Lanier’s commitment to community policing,” she said. “The officers on the street tend to rotate out of our community quickly, and many don’t have time to even understand very local issues.”

Andy Solberg, commander of the Metropolitan Police Department’s second district, which includes Georgetown, said that he is excited to work with Lanier, pointing to her track record and long career as an MPD officer.

“I think she’s very eager and energetic,” he said. “I predict that once people see her in action they’ll really appreciate her.”

Lanier joined the police department in 1990 and has been in charge of the fourth district since 2000.

Harrison echoed Solberg’s praise for Lanier, adding that Lanier’s push to increase police presence would improve safety around campus and enhance the university’s relationship with police.

“We have a very favorable relationship working with [MPD],” he said. “I only see [Lanier’s plan] enhancing that.”

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