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Gray deploys firefighters to protect summer youth workers on payday

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Capital Land,Freeman Klopott

The Vince Gray administration is deploying firefighters to D.C. street corners to help protect members of the city's Summer Youth Employment Program on payday, according to e-mails obtained by The Washington Examiner. 

Youths have routinely been mugged on paydays in summers past and it appears Mayor Gray's solution is to potentially put firefighters in harm's way to keep the robberies from happening under his watch. 

"I just want to follow up with you about FEMS providing a presence at [high crime areas] and other focus areas to assist with SYEP payday safety," a legislative and policy analyst for the deputy mayor for public safety wrote in an e-mail to a fire department official on Tuesday. "I have Cc'ed MPD and DPOES for their input regarding which SYEP locations and [high crime areas] could use support from FEMS." 

The administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The e-mails go on to detail specific street corners where firefighters will deploy. The first payday is Wednesday, the e-mails said. 

Fire union chief Ed Smith said he learned about the plan Wednesday morning as has already sent a series of inquiries to the administration officials. 

"We're not trained for these matters," Smith said. "When we respond to violent crimes that involve medical emergencies we stage a block away until the police say its safe. We never get involved in police matters."

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