At the beginning of the week, several news stories reported that MPD officers had been directed by command officials to collect signatures for the Mayor's Homelessness Pledge. Based on the varying news accounts, we have provided statements about the incident from Chief Lanier and Commander Parker in their entirety.
Statement from Chief Cathy L. Lanier:
“In my opinion, this is just another distraction by the union from our crime fighting mission.”
Statement from Seventh District Commander, Vendette T. Parker:
“I attended the Interagency Council on Homelessness meeting recently where they provided flyers on the new homelessness initiative. At an overtime roll call over the weekend, I instructed the officers to get out of the car and engage with community members. I handed out three flyers on gun tips, homelessness, and ATV/dirtbike rewards program information they could use as an icebreaker. I asked the officers to make an effort to engage more citizens during their shift, instead of remaining in the patrol car. I told them if they handed out 5 of each flyer they will have engaged with 15 community members during their tour. No one was directed to obtain any signatures. A recurring complaint we get is that officers are always sitting in the car. My goal was to get the officers out of the cars and engaging with the community.”