Lessons from a tough year for DC’s police

“This ain’t your daddy’s police department.”

That’s how Sgt. Lavelle Cook, a 31-year veteran of the department, began a conversation with James V. McCoy, the head of the department’s Critical Incident Response team, about the plan to reorganize.

“Last week,” Cook, assigned to the Central Metropolitan District, said, “we got five homicides in four hours.”

McCoy interrupted him, noting that one of those victims, a gunman, had come to his attention through his department’s CompStat data system.

McCoy led Cook and two other officers, Col. Mavis Jones and Capt. Daryl Jones, into the office of department commanders to share their difficulties as homicide investigators. They told commanders what to expect. Some police officers are leaving, they said.

Lamar David, a five-year veteran of the department, later told them, “Many officers have been told that there will be more killings in 2019 compared to last year.”

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