City Desk

Police Chief Cathy Lanier’s Open Door Policy?

Cathy Lanier

Despite the fact that, as this week's cover story points out, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier enjoys widespread popularity among D.C. residents, some cops aren't as adoring. Anti-Lanier police I've talked to say she's too strict of a disciplinarian and that her stringent approach to control was famously showcased in 2000, when she was commander of the Fourth District.

When Lanier heard some scuttlebutt that her district's lieutenants were lazing about in their offices—and, rumor had it, sometimes having sex there—she chewed them out, say police sources, who asked for anonymity because they don't have permission to speak to the media.

That wasn't the end of it, though. When the cops came in the next day they found their offices a lot more airy. Their doors were gone. "She just didn't like not knowing what was going on," recalls a lieutenant who says he lost a door. The official says Lanier overreacted to what was nothing more than gossip. "She was blinded by anger," he says.

Lanier hasn't responded to inquiries about the story, but the tale has been passed around ("I did hear she did that,” says Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes, a close Lanier ally) and could either represent Lanier as bully or no-nonsense reformer. Interestingly, that tension is reminiscent of tension inspired by the guy—or jerk—who installed her. Birds of a feather?

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • GJ

    Kept her door so she could bang her Sergeant boyfriend

  • stinkinthinkin

    DC cops should make more sex tapes and then there would be no need to install 'open door policy' as we enjoy the movies. Gotta admit 4D and 7D has the best looking female cops in Washington, D.C. and they need a reality show on HBO so no holds are barred.

  • Marciela

    What a brat!

    @GJ: How can she have a boyfriend on the force? Is she supposed to supervise her man? I mean, she's the chief so the buck always stops at her door. Is this the same man at SOD in the auto accident reconstruction department who she lives with or another boyfriend?

  • Maccabi

    The Greek Tragedy with Lanier and its Shakespeare Ending is long overdue.

    Her unyielding quest for power,fame and money by destroying all in her path will also be her downfall.

    A habitual devotion that Lanier adheres to every day:

    “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it” ~ Adolph Hitler

    When will the elected city officials show her the "door?"

    Will she be hit by the "door" on her way OUT?

  • Alfred

    The last time I checked, a glowing endorsement from the City Paper wasn't exactly praise from Ceasar. What's your angle? You aren't reporting legitimate news; just old gossip with a fresh paint job, and you're reporting it from a skewered viewpoint that those in the know wouldn't necessarily agree with. Do you owe someone a favor? Are you trying to get revenge on someone like Harry Jaffe or Kris Baumann? Just trying to increase your readers by reporting on slightly controversial non-news? Never comprimise yourself or your integrity; even in the face of increased readers. You'll sleep better at night.

  • Alexvanderpoolstyle

    I’m curious as to why the author made no mention of the Terrence Moore standoff story?

    The criticism of Fenty and Lanier’s handling of the standoff isn’t a criticism of a dictatorial or disciplinarian style. It isn’t a criticism that fits into the bully/reformer Fenty narrative.

    It’s the story of a loose canon who needed to be in charge, procedures and policy be damned, who didn’t care about the possible human consequences.

    I don’t know if that story is true or not. But it is a story that every cop I’ve ever interacted with socially (regardless of race) believes. It colors their perception of the former Mayor and the current Chief far more than tales of door removal.