Metro board and D.C. Council member Jerry A. Moore (R-At Large) yesterday charged that the D.C. Police Department failed to properly notify the Metro board when it changed the method of patroling buses.
Moore made his charge at the Metro board meeting yesterday, one day after a group of dissident bus drivers threatened Metro with wild-cat strike at midnight Sunday unless the police department reestablishes a 12-man security force for bus patrols.
That force was organized after a one-day wildcat drivers stike May 18. Drivers complained they were not receiving adequate security, particularly in comparison with subway operations. After several weeks, the 12-man special force was disbanded by Assistant Chief Bernard D. Crooke and responsibility for bus patrols was placed on the city's seven individual police districts.
Metro's own transit police also have been strenghtened and have redirected some of their resources to bus patrols.
Metro general manager Theodore C. Lutz told Moore that "we had some contact at the police staff level" before the D.C. police changed their tactics. D.C. police have assured Lutz and city officials that the change will be just as effective as a special force.
"This body (the council) should received notification officially of this kind of change," Moore said.
Sam Eastman, spokesman for Mayor Walter E. Washington, said the mayor was not informed of the police plans to change tactics and "There is no reason he should be. He has made it clear he wants the Police Department to provide maximum protection" for the buses. "It's up to the chief and his aides to decide what should be done," Eastman said.