Maryland and D.C. police chiefs discuss youth violence and drones

WASHINGTON — The police chiefs from D.C., Prince George’s and Montgomery counties were guests on WTOP’s “Ask the Chiefs” show on Thursday, answering questions on a range of topics from youth violence to drones.

“This is not simply a police issue. This is a community issue,” said Metropolitan Police Chief Cathy Lanier when asked about kids and guns. “The commonality is the lethality of firearms. When you get people with their hands on firearms, especially if there are gangs involved, the consequences are devastating.”

Prince George’s Police Chief Mark Magaw and Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger made similar statements, with Magaw saying the issue starts at the school level and Manger stressing the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of the wrong people.

“One of the things we’re seeing is lack of adult activity,” Manger said. “It’s a tough issue.”

When the topic of drones came up, all three chiefs said their jurisdictions did not use them and they expressed caution about their potential use.

“I’m not sure the public is ready for that,” Manger said. “And if we ever considered it, you would have to put very strict guidelines in place to make sure you’re not running afoul of privacy laws.”

Manger says surveillance is an increasing issue in a variety of ways in his county, and nationwide. He says there have been an increasing number of cases in which private citizens were spied on by others inappropriately with the use of small, secret cameras.

“We’re getting more of those complaints,” Manger said. “The technology is such that you can put a camera almost anywhere. We do get those complaints, we investigate them and people are going to jail.”

To read a blog of the show, click the box below.

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