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All Hands on Deck

By Matthew Yglesias  

"All Hands on Deck"

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Ryan Avent expresses some skepticism about MPDC Chief Cathy Lanier’s “All Hands on Deck” program in which certain weekends are scheduled for increased police staffing levels and says it’s especially odd to be doing this “when other strategies have borne fruit in cities like New York and (especially) Boston.”

Indeed, I never really understood why Lanier was tapped for the job in the first place. Crime had been on a downward trajectory under her predecessor, so there was no obvious need for the incoming Fenty administration to make a change. And if you were going to make a change, it would seem like the thing to do would be to bring on board a high-level official from a more successful department like Boston or New York. Instead, Fenty promoted from within and tapped the head of the Office of Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism, a women whose credentials include a thesis on Preventing Terror Attacks in the Homeland: A New Mission for State and Local Police. I don’t want to denigrate the importance of homeland security, but honestly given the city’s relatively high crime rate compared to other American cities it seemed like a puzzling direction in which to go.

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