Wells schedules D.C. Council hearing on police misconduct

The chairman of the D.C. Council’s public safety committee announced Thursday that he will hold an oversight hearing Jan. 24 on police misconduct. It comes after three District officers were recently charged with crimes.

Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) said he wants to press Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier on whether officers who are under stress or who are involved in questionable behavior are being identified.

“It is very important to me that residents have confidence in our police officers to be upstanding citizens who are on the side of angels and not people who commit crimes,” said Wells, who is running for mayor.

Two of the recently accused officers — both from the 7th Police District were charged with sex-related crimes. Another officer was charged with attempted murder in a domestic incident.

Lanier has said that two of the officers were hired more than 20 years ago when standards were lowered to increase the size of the force.

Wells said the chief needs to do more to reassure the public that officers are being properly monitored.

In an interview Thursday, Lanier said she would like to have “as many meetings as possible to let people know the facts,” help stop rumors and reassure the public about the quality of the officers. The chief is scheduled to talk to residents Jan. 9 at the 7th District station in Southeast Washington on misconduct issues.

The chief said in an op-ed published in The Washington Post that 18 officers were accused of criminal misconduct in 2103. There are about 4,000 officers on the force.

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