To the editor:
The recent announcement from the city, “Alexandria Police Department Makes Changes to Service,” cryptically titled to obscure the degradation of police services, is disturbing if not worse.
The main priorities of a municipal government are supposed to be public safety and health. Not so in Alexandria, demonstrably. Note the city’s strategic priorities for 2022, no mention of such. But plenty of mention of otherwise just causes that city hall perverts to support their ultimate goal: hyperdensification of the already densest city in Virginia.
This is no criticism of the Alexandria Police Department, which is full of dedicated professionals. I attended the Alexandria Citizens Police Academy, something I highly recommend to everyone.
This is a criticism of City Council and city staff. I hear Alexandria’s police are one from the bottom in pay for the D.C. metro region, which has something like 13 jurisdictions. Reports are that morale is low in the police department.
Unsurprisingly, former Police Chief Mike Brown, who was Chief of the California Highway Patrol and Safety Director at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, resigned abruptly. I wonder why?
It was on the heels of council establishing the policing review board. I recommend watching the Agenda Alexandria session on that. It was Brown versus three others and was obviously a stacked deck against the police department.
I recall formerly seeing frequent reports of shots fired, carjackings, purse snatchings and more, which seemed to indicate an increase in crime. Haven’t seen any lately. Has the crime situation improved, or is the news being suppressed?
And don’t forget the stabbing death of a high school student recently. Our current situation was totally predictable and evitable from the mecca of misplaced priorities and mismanagement at 300 King St.
Hopefully the new city manager can fix this, but it will be an uphill battle for him.
-Brittany Hinkle, Alexandria