WASHINGTON - The D.C. Police Union said Chief Cathy Lanier was given a vote of 'No Confidence' in a weekend poll that asked if she was properly managing the police department.
According to Union Chairman Delroy Burton, more than 3,600 members were asked, "Do you have confidence that Chief Cathy Lanier is able to properly manage the resources of the Metropolitan Police Department and keep the citizens safe?" Of the 1,150 officers who answered, only 28 members said that they had confidence in Lanier.
The results of the confidence vote were first released on FOX 5 Monday morning.
The D.C. Police Union cited eight grievances that have angered officers, including no cost-of-living adjustments and what they describe as 'toxic' management.
Burton said that the union believes Lanier has been dishonest with the public regarding several matters, including misrepresentation of the productivity of the city’s vice units.
"This means that the mayor needs to do some thinking about the police chief because the public has to trust us,” said Burton. “If we can't trust that our leadership is being honest, then the public can't trust that our leadership is being honest, and then we can't work together to try to find a solution to this very vexing problem of violence that we have in this community."
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement after the results of the vote were announced to show support for Lanier.
“After 25 years of policing D.C. streets, deploying officers and strategies, and building a force of highly qualified officers and leaders, in the good times and the tough times, too, I have every confidence in Chief Lanier,” she said.
Chief Lanier released the following statement Monday afternoon:
"I am not interested in responding to or commenting on the anonymous online survey conducted by the Fraternal Order of Police. But I will defend the work of the members of this agency. I will continue, as I have done in the past, to provide statistics and analysis of crime that are factual and can be verified as evidence that our members are extremely effective.
According to our morning report today, MPD took 34 illegal guns off the streets of Washington, DC, this weekend alone and reduced violent crime by 39% compared to the same weekend last year. I am keenly aware of the inconvenience schedule changes cause our members and their families, and sincerely appreciate, that in spite of this inconvenience, they continue to work hard to take violent offenders off our streets to protect the citizens of the District of Columbia.
As the Chief of Police, I will continue to make the tough decisions that need to be made to make Washington, D.C. the safest city in America."
But a community activist, an ANC commissioner and a D.C. council member we spoke with on Monday still had confidence in Lanier.
"I think the vote is a measure of where some of the officers in the force … feel about the department at this time,” D.C. Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) told FOX 5's Paul Wagner. “I believe that the officers, particularly the rank and file’s input as well as the officers’ morale, is really essential to the District’s public safety,” said “But at the same time, what I know is that residents don't want us pointing fingers. This is not the time to be pointing fingers. We’ve got more than 100 homicides and residents want solutions.”
"We’re talking about a third of the police actually voted, and I think what it represents on the face level is a concern amongst the patrol officers,” said Drew Schneider, founder of the news blog petworthnews.org. “I think that number needs has to be looked at. In my time with working with some of the leadership, working with patrol officers, I've heard genuine support about what's going on and wanting to work with the community.”
"I've lived here in Ward 7 for many, many years and have experienced a lot of violence -- from a murder in front of my house, men shooting and running down the street, murder on the corner -- so I have worked with the chief as well as the deputy assistant chief on these issues, including when I went to testify against some of the bad actors,” said ANC Commissioner Janis Hazel (7D05). “So I definitely know that the chief is working very hard. She has specifically provided some increased exposure here in Ward 7.”