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Lanier to Chef Geoff: Thanks, slow down

Thursday - 2/2/2012, 1:13pm  ET

(WTOP/Paul D. Shinkman)
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Ask the Chief

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier talks to WTOP's Mark Segraves


WASHINGTON - The D.C. chief of police responded to local cuisine personality Chef Geoff on Ask the Chief" Thursday, who recently hired sign spinners to alert drivers to new speed cameras near Foxhall Road in Northwest.

"The goal is to have people slow down out there," she says. "If he's going to help me slow down people there, I'm all for it."

"I hope he slows down."

Police issued roughly 20,000 warning tickets the first 30 days the cameras were in operation. The number of active citations has halved to roughly 11,000 in the following 30 days.

"That tells you there's a problem there, doesn't it?" says Lanier.

Learn more about recent Occupy protests at the Alfalfa Club meeting, new police crime-fighting initiatives and one of the most "horrific" traffic accidents the chief has witnessed in our Live Blog:

10:54 a.m., speaking about Occupy D.C.:

I think their relationship with police is good, 90 percent of the time. There are things they do that raise that tension, like when they protested the Alfalfa Club event last weekend.

That doesn't help. We don't appreciate that.

I was there for the whole event. We had about 6 city blocks closed down. They never breached our perimeter, but a lot of the attendees came from outside our perimeter. We didn't have control over people walking in from 15 different directions.

10:53 a.m., speaking about her contract:

I've been busy dealing with crime the last few weeks, and I've not really put that much time into it.

I need to get back on the ball, but I intend to stay.

10:52 a.m., speaking about ticket writers cross-checking for stolen cars:

The ability to link those systems is going to be an important key. There has been a break in that connection. I know they're trying to repair that now

10:51 a.m., speaking about driving around school buses:

It's around a $500 fine for passing a stopped school bus. Our officers are aggressive about enforcing that. I'm not sure what the regulation is on passing a Metro bus. That's when many collisions occur; unsafe passing of any stopped vehicle.

10:46 a.m., speaking about gun registration laws:

We recommended against the training requirement because it's not what other districts do, and it's not necessary. It looks like we're going to move to eliminate that. That's the biggest complaint we get.

10:45 a.m., speaking about Texting 5-0:

We've seen a 300 percent increase in the tips we've received from this. We see tips on gang members carrying guns, shootings, homicides. If you have a regular complaint, call 911. But if you want to get someone off the street, text 50411 for an anonymous tip.

10:44 a.m., speaking about "Click it or Ticket":

It is a primary offense to not wear a seatbelt. About 10,000 tickets were issued last year. 7,000-10,000 is average.

I couldn't stand to wear my seatbelt until I spent two years in the traffic fatality unit, I don't pull out of my driveway without wearing a seatbelt.

It's extremely rare for us to see fatalities of people who do wear a seatbelt.

10:41 a.m., speaking about the Office of Police Complaints:

It's an independent agency that gives the public an option to complain about police actions. They manager a far, far smaller number of complaints than we do.

I think they only adjudicated 14 cases last year. "If that's the potential impact for this year, that's not significant."

Members of the public can always complain to both.

Most cases are to do with rudeness.

10:35 a.m., speaking about license plate scanners:

The information can be used for criminal cases. Such as for lookouts associated with another crime.

10:33 a.m., speaking about the infant found who died of exposure:

We may never know the cause of death. We just released a photograph of the towel asking again for the public's assistance.

10:31 a.m., speaking about jaywalking tickets:

We write an awful lot of them. We have a focused campaign where we focus for several weeks on pedestrian violations. There are thousands of tickets issued every year.

10:24 a.m., speaking about robberies in NW:

They're in Shepherd Park area, and off Connecticut Avenue. There are robbery patterns across the city. We've kicked off a rewards campaign to help people turn in people associated with robberies.

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