Mayor Marion Barry and Police Chief Maurice T. Turner are set to unveil a new citywide anticrime campaign that will include rewards of up to $25,000 for helping to apprehend major drug dealers and the distribution of FBI-type "10 most wanted" posters, according to police sources.
Police officials said the campaign, which is to be named Police and Citizens Together (PACT), represents the city's "summer offensive" on crime. Barry and Turner are expected to formally announce the program later this week.
The campaign calls for expanding some existing programs, such as Neighborhood Watch and drug education workshops, and instituting several new ones, such as a system of rewards for helping police apprehend drug dealers.
The program will offer rewards ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of "major" drug dealers, according to a document outlining the PACT effort.
The amount of the reward will depend on the value of drugs or other contraband seized in an arrest, the suspect's criminal record and the magnitude of the drug enterprise, the document states.
Inspector Kris Coligan, commander of the morals division, will be responsible for screening and evaluating tips, according to the plan for the campaign.
"There are more and more people involved in drugs and more and more drugs available," Coligan said. "We expect this reward program will greatly increase the number of tips we get. We will have to check out every tip, and that will increase our workload."
Coligan said the illegal drug business has expanded so rapidly that there are major drug dealers who have not yet been identified. "There was a time when we knew all the major violators in town," he said. "Now it is not uncommon for us to learn a new identity."
Spokesmen for Barry and Turner declined to comment on the PACT program yesterday. The program had been slated for announcement at a news conference yesterday, but the event was canceled because of a scheduling conflict.
The PACT effort also will include posters depicting the city's "10 most wanted" repeat offenders, called the "Gotcha Program," the campaign document states. This component of the campaign also will provide a system of rewards.
To qualify for the 10 most wanted list, a person must be wanted on a felony warrant involving a crime against a person, be identified as having committed multiple serious crimes, have committed a felony offense while on parole or have used a firearm in the commission of a serious offense. A reward of $1,000 will be paid for information leading to the arrest of someone on the list.
"These guys are the worst of the worst," said Inspector Ed Spurlock, head of the department's Repeat Offender Project and one of the officials who will compile the list. "We will be getting the most wanted criminals off the streets of Washington and someone will be getting $1,000. We know people will call when there is money involved."
Another part of the program, named Coordination of Private Security (COPS), calls for district commanders to hold monthly meetings with security directors of area stores, shopping malls and government buildings.
Deputy Chief Max Krupo, commander of the 1st District, which includes most of downtown, said he started meeting with security directors from Hecht's, Woodward & Lothrop, The Shops and other downtown businesses about six months ago and believes the sessions are worthwhile.
"Part of our mandate was to do more with less cost," said Krupo, who added that he proposed the idea of including such meetings in the PACT campaign. "We had to come up with programs that could be run on a shoestring. This is a shoestring program. It costs me three hours a month and everyone is benefiting from it."
Arthur Spitzer, legal director of the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, said yesterday that he saw nothing wrong with the PACT program as outlined in the document. "Police and private parties have been offering cash rewards for years," he said, adding that the use of wanted posters also is widely accepted.