By Scott McCabe
D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier plans to forge ahead with her signature All Hands on Deck strategy despite a court ruling declaring parts of the initiative in violation of the city’s contract with its rank-and-file officers.
A police spokesperson said the city’s attorney general will review the court’s decision and advise the department on its next legal steps.
“Nothing in the court’s decision precludes or prohibits the department’s continued use of AHOD as a robust and effective crime-fighting tool,” spokesperson Gwen Crump said in an email. “We have every intention of continuing to use AHODs in the future to continue our success and reduce violent crime even further.”
The announcement comes after D.C. Superior Court Judge L. Rankin upheld a labor board ruling which affirmed an arbitrator’s 2009 decision that the District’s roughly 3,800 officers must be compensated for working three-day weekends required by the All Hands on Deck initiative.
The 2009 decision ordered the city to cease and desist the All Hands on Deck initiative and held that police officers must be paid overtime for working the extra shifts.
The All Hands on Deck, which began in 2007, floods the city streets with every available officer for several days at a time during select weekends of the year.
The chief has contended that All Hands on Deck has helped lower the District’s crime rate, and that she did not violate the terms of the collective bargaining agreement because the dates of the events were announced months in advance.
Union officials say All Hands on Deck not only breaches its contract with police officers, but it also deprives neighborhoods of manpower during the week and pulls detectives from their investigations to walk a beat.
Union Chairman Kristopher Baumann told FOX5 that All Hands on Deck will “go down as the most expensive public relations campaign in the nation’s history.”
Baumman estimates that the All Hands on Deck will cost the city tens of millions of dollars over the last four years. The chief disputes that figure, saying the ruling only considers the initiatives in 2009.