Pretty much every USPP shift is short of minimum staffing. Saturday evening around 8:00 p.m. (July 17, 2022) in the United States Park Police East District in Washington, DC, there was a reported stabbing on the Suitland Parkway.
Evidently, someone stabbed someone else in a vehicle traveling on the parkway. The stabbing aftermath caused the vehicle to crash. (Update: Two vehicles had been involved in a crash and the operators got into a fight during which one of them was stabbed.) Responding units from D-5 had to deal with the crime scene investigation, the arrest of the stabber, and transporting the victim to the hospital. This incident tied up all the units in D-5. There were only two units in D-4, and they were busy responding to multiple calls. (Addition: There were only two units in D-5 (Car 511 & Car 512), and they were being supervised by a Sergeant from another District.)
Around the same time, Central District Officers responded to an assault on Haines Point. An injured suspect was transported to a hospital. To guard this suspect required that an officer protecting one of the monuments be reassigned, degrading the monument’s security.
Around 9:30 p.m., a call for a shooting on Anacostia Drive went out with no D-5 units available to respond. Car 111 responded to the scene and reported a fatality with an extensive crime scene. The DC Metropolitan Police were called to investigate. All the East Districts’ (D-4 and D-5) units were tied up, and calls for them were backing up. The Shift Commander had two D-1 sergeants respond to assist Car 111.
Sometime during this time period, a call went out to have off-duty units with home-to-work vehicles come in to assist. Unfortunately, the two East District privates with vehicles were out of the area on approved extended leave.
Thankfully, two lieutenants with home-to-work vehicles stepped up and responded in to handle calls in District 5 until things settled down. The USPPFOP is thankful for these officials who clearly care deeply for the safety of the public and their officers.
Ignoring reality will no longer be tolerated. The U. S. Park Police is dangerously understaffed. The evidence confirming this truth is vast and spans decades. (See Evidence) We will not sit back and step lightly around topics that may upset our bosses. We will continue taking steps to ensure the USPP gets the staffing and equipment required for safe and effective law enforcement operations. We will continue aggressively spreading the truth about the USPP’s unsafe operational readiness. Hoping things get better and complaining to each other won’t accomplish a thing. Hope alone is far too frail a vessel to place the safety of park visitors and officers.