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07-28-06, 01:53 PM #1
A Day Late, Capitol Police Expected to Patrol Mall Friday
WASHINGTON - U.S. Capitol Police are expected to patrol the National Mall on Friday night -- after they were supposed to begin one day earlier, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says.
Norton says she's been pushing for the patrols for two weeks and Capitol Police officials have "slow walked" through the process of coordinating the joint patrols with U.S. Park Police even after the office of House Speaker Dennis Hastert approved the plan.
Incomplete paperwork prevented U.S. Capitol Police from adding three blocks to their nightly patrols Thursday.
Norton, who was the one to announce that U.S. Capitol Police would assist the U.S. Park Police, also says the House Sergeant at Arms and other staffers didn't have everything done.
Small details, such as swearings-in and signing off on orders, that could have been done by "any petty bureaucrat" during the past two weeks were not done, Norton says.
"It came down to paperwork," Norton says. "It's the kind of thing that gives government a bad name."
Due to the current crime emergency, it doesn't make sense to pull Park Police from Anacostia, Kenilworth and Rock Creek parks because those areas are far more dangerous than the Mall, Norton says.
The U.S. Capitol Police were supposed to start helping the hard-pressed U.S. Park Police by patrolling the National Mall between 4th and 7th Streets between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m.
"The Park Police did their job," Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton tells WTOP. "The Capitol Police board did not finish the fine points of their job."
U.S. Capitol Police spokeswoman Kimberly Schneider tells WTOP the agency is not prepared to comment on the matter, but may have something to say Friday afternoon.
Norton says on Thursday night, the U.S. Park Police did "double back" and cover the area between 4th and 7th Streets.
The extra police patrols come after several armed robberies on the National Mall and after Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey asked federal agencies for more help as he imposed a crime emergency in the city.
Capitol Police Didn't Patrol Mall
Delegate Eleanor Holmes-Norton
07-28-06, 01:55 PM #2
Wow, a politician accusing a group of acting slowly...
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