Major shakeup in DC Police Union leadership

A shrinking police force and crime concerns have raised questions of safety in the District of Columbia.

DC Police Union president Delroy Burton has been outspoken on behalf of its members against how Police Chief Cathy Lanier has been doing business. But there has been a major shakeup Tuesday night.

Whether residents live in D.C. or just come to visit, most want to know the city’s police force is up to the task of protecting people. For nearly a decade, Burton has been at the helm challenging city leadership on how best to reach that goal.

This summer, Burton appeared on FOX 5 News Morning after a no-confidence vote for Chief Lanier. However, Burton is the one who is out as union president.

Burton said if membership wants change, that is exactly what they are going to get.

“I accept the fact that they have decided to go in a different direction and I'm pleased with the things I've been able to do, so no regrets and I just will move forward,” said Burton.

He lost by a significant margin to Sergeant Matthew Mahl. FOX 5 received a picture of the election results showing Mahl received nearly double the votes.

Burton is best known for publicly criticizing Chief Lanier on several occasions about the department’s staffing shortage, the dismantling of the department’s drug and vice units and the increase in homicides across the District.

“My term does not end until April 1st of this year, so I'll finish my term, work on the cases I've been working on and do the things that are necessary to transition and I'll move on,” Burton told FOX 5.

In an email to FOX 5, Chief Lanier said in a statement:

"Congratulations to the newly elected leadership. These hardworking members clearly won the confidence of their colleagues. I look forward to working with them."

There is some speculation that one of the reasons Burton may have lost his seat as chairman of the police union could surround the pay raise controversy.

FOX 5 has reached out to the newly-elected union chairman and we expect to hear from him in the coming days.

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