Cathy Lanier, others testify in Congress on Occupy D.C.
A House subcommittee will hold a hearing Tuesday on the Occupy D.C. encampment in McPherson Square and the decision to allow protesters to remain there.
Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is holding the hearing. Issa has been vocal about wanting the protesters removed from federal land, citing concerns about rats, public safety and damage to the park land.
Washington's Police Chief Cathy Lanier is slated to testify. One of the questions Lanier will likely be asked is whether or not she is diverting officers away from patrolling neighborhoods.
Lanier has maintained the movement has had nothing to do with a recent spike in some neighborhood crimes and that she has enough officers to cover routine patrols and the protesters.
But documents obtained by ABC7 through a Freedom of Information Act request show officers are being taken from neighborhood patrols, sometimes as many as 14 officers per shift.
An internal police memo obtained by ABC7 shows the department has restricted vacation for officers as a result of the re-deployment of neighborhood patrols.
"In an effort to ensure adequate staffing levels while the Occupy D.C. protests continue, the following adjustments have been made to the current leave book," part of the memo reads.
Lanier has acknowledged that from time to time, officers are taken from the neighborhoods. But she insists the redeployment has had no negative effect on crime.
Residents ABC7 spoke with are divided on the issue.
"It's a waste of taxpayer dollars to have the police babysit a bunch of spoiled brats and that's what they are," said Bethesda resident Farrell McHugh.
D.C. resident Tawanna Sellers thought more hires would help solve both issues.
"If they are pulling police officers out of the neighborhoods, this is a good time to hire more officers," Sellers said.
The AP contributed to this report.
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