Popville posted an interesting email exchange between a resident who lives in MPD's 3rd District and Chief Cathy Lanier. The resident emailed the Chief asking for clarification on a number of items that have been bouncing back and forth in various listservs, police union messages and the news.
In a series of well-written emails to the Chief, the resident asked for clear answers on the reasons for the surge in violence and homicides, and wanted evidence to back up MPD's publicized answers. The resident also shared that patrol officers didn't have the same answers heard from local media and from the Chief. So either this disconnect meant the answers weren't credible, or information wasn't getting to the officers to share with the community.
Chief Lanier responds in a lengthy email reply. The points that the Chief makes in her response back to the resident are really interesting, and are the same as I've heard the Chief share a few times now in various crime meetings I've attended. I think she provided substantive answers and addressed the concerns that many have had lately about the surge in violence and the reasons we've heard for that surge.
I think that the resident makes a valid point in his or her subsequent reply back to the Chief: patrol officers and residents aren't really getting the message Lanier shares in her reply. It seems that MPD isn't getting the information to the PSA managers and patrol officers in a way they understand or believe. Morale and trust with leadership continue to be issues on the street. Open dialogue and good information sharing can be one way to fix that.
I give the Chief credit for her last response to that critique:
“Thank you. Point well taken. I will certainly redouble my efforts to improve understanding within MPD. It matters quite a bit if the officers aren’t getting the facts.”
I definitely recommend you read the emails on Popville, they're worthwhile.