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Government and People
WASHINGTON INTERFAITH NETWORK
OCTOBER 10, 1997
Contacts: Sandra Case, WIN District Five Police Team (202) 518-0815
WIN Renews Call for WPD Chief Soulsby To Resign:
50 leaders from Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), a coalition of 43 churches, will meet with Councilman Jack Evans today -- Friday, October 10th at 12:45 PM at 1 Judiciary Square, to demand that Evans and Financial Control Board Vice-Chairman Stephen Harlan spearhead a drive to remove Larry D. Soulsby as Washington Police Chief. In addition, WIN leaders will hold Evans accountable for fulfilling his promise to WIN to provide detailed information on the redeployment of more than 900 officers from administrative jobs to neighborhood patrols and district by district sick-leave/unavailable for duty data.
"Why are Jack Evans and Stephen Harlan protecting Soulsby?" asked WIN Co-Chair Rev. Lionel Edmonds. "WIN called for Soulsby's resignation six months ago, based on his deplorable track record in fighting crime and his poor leadership of the department. Recent revelations about the failures in the department's homicide unit as well as pervasive mismanagement of other divisions is enough evidence to close the case on Soulsby's tenure as police chief. Evans' and Harlan's defense of Soulsby is unconscionable. They must call for his removal immediately," Rev. Edmonds asserted.
WIN leaders from Police District Five (Brookland and Rhode Island Avenue areas) have been pressing Councilman Jack Evans for answers about poor police service in District Five since August. Specifically, Evans pledged to provide information about how the Washington Police Department deployed 900 officers reassigned from administrative duties this spring and summer. WIN leaders have been frustrated in their efforts to secure foot and bike patrols for the District. The District commander explained that District Five received only 6 officers from the redeployment of 900 officers: only two remain in the District this fall.
"We want to know where and how the WPD deployed these 900 officers," said Sandra Case, a leader on WIN's District Five Police Team. "There should have been enough officers for extensive bike and foot patrols in each district. Evans promised us the information we need to unravel the WPD's shell game. Now we know why he did not provide it. He wants to protect an incompetent police chief and a dysfunctional department from accountability. Why else would he have defended keeping the Booz-Allen assessment of the WPD secret?" Case asserted.
WIN also demanded that Evans provide district-by-district sick-leave/unavailable for duty data. In a September 29th meeting with the District Five Commander, WIN leaders learned that 60 or 26% of the District's 229 patrol officers are unavailable for duty due to sick-, administrative-, disability-, or disciplinary- leave.
"No wonder we cannot get foot and bike patrols, one quarter of the District's force is out," said Rev. Darrell Macklin, WIN Co-Chair and pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church located in District Five. "This is the department's next city-wide scandal. Harlan and Evans must release the Booz-Allen report so that District Five residents and all Washingtonians can know the true story about the lack of police coverage in the neighborhoods," Rev. Macklin contended.
In their meeting with Evans, which is to precede the City Council's Judiciary Sub-Committee hearing on police reform, WIN leaders will demand Evans:
"Jack Evans and Steve Harlan have to make a choice: Will they continue to protect an incompetent chief and collude with his attempts to avoid accountability for the Washington Police Department's deplorable failures, OR will they support citizens' demands for full disclosure, removal of Chief Soulsby, and the recruitment of a top-flight police professional to reform the Washington Police Department," Rev. Edmonds asserted.
Founded in 1996, WIN is a multi-racial, multi-faith, strictly non-partisan district-wide, power organization, rooted in local congregations and committed to the training and development of neighborhood leaders to address community issues in Washington, DC. WIN's 43 member congregations represent 20,000 families in every section of the District. In addition to policing issues, WIN is working to build 1,000 owner-occupied homes for sale to working families and has launched the first of 10 after-school programs for elementary and junior high-school students in the District.
WIN is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), the oldest and largest community organizing network in the United States. Founded 50 years ago by Saul Minsky, the IAF works with more than 60 congregation-based community organizations across the nation, including BUILD in Baltimore, MD and IAC in Prince Georges County, MD.
WHY ARE EVANS & HARLAN DEFENDING SOULSBY'S FAILURES:
EVANS' DISRESPECT TO WIN & WIN DISTRICT FIVE POLICE TEAM:
WIN DEMANDS FOR EVANS & HARLAN:
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