WASHINGTON – District officials are planning for the possibility of having to deploy hundreds of police officers for security around Nationals Park during the playoff games.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray told reporters “65 to 76″ officers would be deployed at the stadium for each game. But after reporters confronted Gray with an internal police document indicating as many as 462 officers could be deployed per game day, the mayor deferred to his deputy mayor for public safety.
“The number that the mayor spoke of is the primary number of officers that we will use on-site,” Deputy Mayor Paul Quander said. “We will have the ability to pull other officers in if needed.”
According to a police teletype dated Sept. 17, 2012, Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier has authorized “increased staffing” levels and notified officers of changes to their normal tours of duty.
The teletype, obtained by WTOP, calls for the deployment of up to two Civil Disturbance Unit platoons from each police district per game. According to the teletype, each platoon consists of 33 officers. The District has seven police districts, meaning as many as 462 extra officers per day could be providing security around the ballpark for each game.
Quander acknowledged the teletype was accurate, but insisted police coverage in neighborhoods across the city would not be compromised. He added that the additional 462 CDU officers would only be deployed to the ballpark or areas where crowds were gathering in case of emergencies.
“There will no disruption to normal police activities in the neighborhoods,” Quander said. “We have civil disturbance units in every district. We wanted to put them on notice so if we needed them, they will be in place.”
Kristopher Baumann, chairman of the union representing the city’s police officers, took issue with Quander’s explanation.
“That’s patently false,” Baumann said. “These officers are being pulled from their normal tour of duty.”