WASHINGTON - After two deaths in the custody of special police officers last year, D.C. officials are proposing changes to require enhanced and increased training.
"We talked about maybe doing this in early January when we were discussing two very critical cases in Washington, DC, we all came together to review our current requirements and regulations and all of the rules around people who have arrest authority in Washington, DC," said Mayor Bowser.
The administration and MPD are now proposing doubling the required initial training for special police officers to 80 hours, instead of 40 and tripling the yearly recertification training from eight to 24 hours.
But in holding the news conference outside the Holocaust Museum, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier sought to highlight the heroism of special police officers, too.
"All of these changes are proposed to do two things, one, make our security guards safer so they can come to work and do their job and feel comfortable just like our police officers want to do, so we have everything we need to do our job and go home safe every night and two to increase their ability to do their job better every day, it's what we want from our security personnel," Chief Lanier said.
Seven years ago, special police officers at the Holocaust Museum were the first to encounter a gunman with a rifle who killed Security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns just before two other special police officers pulled their weapons and shot the suspect, ending the assault.