Steven B. Wilson was tragically and senselessly murdered in Hanover, MD. Mr. Wilson is the Son-In-Law of retired United States Park Police (USPP) Sgt. Pilot Kevin Duckworth and Grandson-In-Law of retired Deputy Chief Earl Housenfluck.
While the family grieves and prepares for a life with a giant void without Steve, efforts are underway to establish financial security for his wife Jessica (Daughter of Kevin & Lynn Duckworth) and her two daughters; 10 months and 2 years old. To contribute to this cause go to this link:
The United States Park Police Fraternal Order of Police offers our condolences to the Duckworth Family.
Friends are invited to celebrate Steve’s life at the Kalas Funeral Home in Annapolis, MD on Tuesday, December 11 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8pm.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 620 Bestgate Rd., Annapolis, MD on Wednesday, December 12 at 9 am. Interment Lakemont Memorial Gardens, Davidsonville, MD.
An arrest has been made:
Featured Image: Anne Arundel County Police Press Conference regarding arrest in this case
Quite unsurprisingly and as usual settled law doesn’t impress United States Park Police officialdom so here we go again:
In 1999, the consulting firm Booz, Allen & Hamilton (Booz-Allen) conducted the most recent independent staffing study that determined that the United States Park Police (USPP) needed 820 officers. Currently, the USPP does not have anywhere near 820 officers.
In a December 3, 2003, article in the Washington Post, entitled, “Park Police Duties Exceed Staffing; Anti-Terror Demands Have Led Chief to Curtail Patrols Away From Mall”, Former USPP Chief Teresa Chambers is cited as stating, “In the long run, Chambers said, her 620-member department needs a major expansion, perhaps to about 1,400 officers.” If Chief Chambers estimate is off by 50%, the number of officers needed by the USPP is 700. Which is more officers than the 639 officers the NPS, has for decades claimed is sufficient for safe and effective USPP operations.
Visitation increased 41% in the National Park Service (NPS), National Capital Region (Washington, DC Metropolitan Area), between 1990 and 2015. According to NPS records during that 25-year period, visits rose from 33 million to 56 million. (Source: NPS Records) No corresponding increase in USPP officers.
The Washington-Baltimore-Arlington Metropolitan Area population increased 43% between 1990 and 2017. The population grew from 6.7 million to 9.6 million. (Source: US Census) No corresponding increase in USPP officers.
For example, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) was 74,600 vehicles a day in 1993 and was 117,000 vehicles a day in 2013. This represents a 36% increase in traffic volume from 1993 to 2013. (Source: NPS Records) No corresponding increase in USPP officers.
Since 9/11/2001 the USPP has additional facilities to cover with no increase in staffing:
Since, Booz-Allen completed their 1999 staffing analysis the threats facing United States National Security have increased significantly. In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States the USCP and the USSS-UD increased their number of officers by about 33%. They did this because there was a demonstrated need to harden their facilities from attack. In contrast, the number of USPP officers has remained stagnant. The force is essentially the same size it was in 1999. The NPS hasn’t permitted the USPP to hire the 820 officers Booz-Allen determined were needed to operate safely and effectively in 1999.
This is a problem because the White House and the U. S. Capitol have been significantly hardened from attack by the addition of personnel, technology, enhanced security procedures and security barriers. The hardening of these facilities puts the surrounding areas under USPP control at increased risk. Terrorists will look for easier targets nearby. This is supported by the trend of recent attacks toward entertainment venues, nightlife areas, shopping centers, cultural centers and public events and the propaganda of terrorist organizations.
The USPP needs more personnel for response forces, bomb detection canine units, patrol, crime patrol units, investigative operations and intelligence operations. The USPP needs at least 1000 officers to staff an effective dedicated response force and be able to effectively perform all other aspects of its mission. The 1999 Booz-Allen report was correct. However, in 2017 given the previously cited evidence and the experiences of the last 14 years, at least 180 additional officers over their 1999 determination is essential.
The public’s reasonable expectation is that the USPP is able to effectively respond to critical incidents. The reality is that there isn’t enough people and equipment to do the job. Common sense and experience have demonstrated that most of the casualties caused by terrorists occur in the first few minutes of their attack. In the event, of an incident like an active shooter, a bombing or a Orlando/Mumbai/Paris style attack the inadequacy of the USPP’s response will result in unnecessary loss of life.
Attacks like this would damage our National Security and undermine confidence in the government. Should an attack continue for many hours on the National Mall, that damage, and more importantly the loss of life would be significantly increased.
We cannot safely ignore the fact that these types of attacks are possible, because they have occurred in Europe and the United States. Our enemies have repeatedly threatened to carry out more attacks here. It is essential that the USPP have a properly equipped and sized response force capable of swiftly ending any attack, and successfully treating any casualties all day, every day.