WASHINGTON – Even as thousands flock to the D.C. area to observe Memorial Day, police presence in the region is being scaled back: Sequester cuts are forcing furloughs in the U.S. Park Police and other agencies.
“They are essential personnel,” D.C. Congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton says of the officers. She adds that getting adequate police coverage will require authorities to “pull people who might be in other places.”
Norton has written a letter to the appropriation committees of both chambers of Congress, lobbying for more money for the federal police.
“I’m asking for there to be some reprogramming of funds so they do not have to undergo furlough hours,” she says.
Cuts are already causing an inconvenience for some.
“The public is going to see a definite increase in the wait times for police officers to respond to non-emergency calls,” explains Ian Glick, chairman of the Park Police union.
Drivers who get in fender-benders may have to wait up to an hour, he says.