But all was not well within the ranks. "The picture painted of the District's police department in confidential consultants' reports obtained by The Washington Post last week had some talking of an agency fallen into chaos."
Questions about police vehicles - "A 1995 city audit found that police officials "did not maintain an accurate inventory" of the fleet and could not find cars, and that thieves routinely stole and stripped seized autos kept in police parking lots."
Questions regarding funds - The same 1995 audit discovered that the mayor's grants office and the corporation counsel had overcharged the police for administering its drug forfeiture money. And it found that the police had not deposited $1 million worth of forfeited drug money in a city bank account, as allowed by law. The cash instead sat in boxes in a police vault.
Rodney Monroe's Response - "Nothing has come out in the Booz-Allen reports that has not been noted over the years as far back as I've been in the department," said Assistant Chief Rodney D. Monroe. "We led them to these areas."
The Bottom Line - Several national police consultants, former chiefs nationally and in Washington, and congressional and D.C. Council officials now say the control board erred by trying to reform the department from the inside.
They say police chiefs in New York City, New Orleans and Boston have brought new thinking and strategies to bear on urban crime, with impressive results.
"Do we need someone from the outside for police chief? On Monday, please," said Murphy, of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "I don't care how badly the chief says his hands were tied. He has a responsibility. "This department," he said, "is in scandalous shape."
Monroe would later become upset with the department and resign only to withdraw his resignation but would later leave to become Chief of the Macon, GA department, then Richmond and in 2008 Charlotte.
You can read the entire October 1997 Washington Post story here.
WBT's Stacy Simms - Early morning listeners to WBT Radio have been concerned about the ongoing absence of Stacey Simms. Given the continual staff changes at the Charlotte's oldest radio station many suspected that Simms was on her way out.
But Thursday evening Simms surfaced via a tweet and blog post.
June was going so well. My children were having fun at camp, my husband and I had a bit of time to ourselves and we had the whole summer stretching ahead. My prescription-medicine-induced- liver problems seemed to be in the past and I was feeling good. I even cleaned out closets! But the very last week of June, something starting changing. I went to work, took some great meetings and looked at some new social media projects (while vowing to keep my schedule slow). But my stomach wasn't cooperating. My body wasn't feeling right. I will spare you all the gory details here, but the end of June meant a horrible beginning of gastro-intestinal maladies that put me in the hospital. I was admitted on July 3rd and didn't come home until the 15th.
The bottom line is she is ok, and hopes to return to work soon.
The rest of Stacey's blog post is here and Cedar Posts of course wishes her a speedy recovery and return to the air.
CMPD To Install Shot Spotter - Deputy Chief Harold Medlock says the city will deploy the system in one neighborhood with a high rate of violent crime.
The 50 thousand dollar project is expected to be rolled out in one of Charlotte's more notorious for drive by neighbor hoods.
The system is pretty simple, get some people to agree to have listening devices and antennas placed on their rooftops in several places over a one square mile area. When a gun shot is heard the computers measure the sound, triangulate the location and alert police dispatch.
During Charlotte City council discussion some members voiced concern that the system could eavesdrop on citizen conversations. Medlock said the system cannot identify or record conversations.
CP hears other wise but lets move on.
Council approved $50,000 for a one-year test of the system. The money will come out of the CMPD asset forfeiture fund. To cover the entire City of Charlotte with the ShotSpotter System would cost 14 million a year. Even to cover just the "trouble spots" would cost inexcess of $3,000,000.00 per year.
About the same time as Charlotte was approving the trial run of the Shot Spotter system, across the country in Seattle their city council was voting to approve the same purchase.
The pitch was much the same and the police department cited the City of Boston who began using the technology in 2007.
A couple of interesting facts emerge, first Boston's homicide data from 2008 through 2011 might suggest that this technology hasn’t prevented murders.
Boston recorded 63 murders in 2008, 50 in 2009, 72 in 2010 and 63 in 2011. Seattle where the Shot Spotter system will be given a much larger test over several miles in the southern half of the city.
The population of Boston, Seattle are about the same yet the largest city in Washington state had only 19 homicides in 2010 compare that to Chicago with over 300 so far this year.
Cedar's Take: Chicago's West and South sides would be the ultimate proving grounds, so why won't Shot Spotter donate a year's worth of the service?
I expect that the system will work and will in fact produce results. Will it stop violent crime Charlotte? Of course not, the only way to stop violent crime is to permanently incarcerate violent offenders, but if we did that we wouldn't have any room for the crack and meth heads.