Police union: D.C. needs to hold cops accountable

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Local,DC,Aubrey Whelan

The head of the D.C. police union says cops in the city need to be held accountable for their actions -- and he has sued the city to request that the Metropolitan Police Department does so.

Kris Baumann, president of D.C.'s Fraternal Order of Police lodge, said the union filed a lawsuit earlier this year to force the city to get the Police Officer Standards and Training Board functioning. The board has 14 seats, and a report from the city's Office of Boards and Commissions released in March said 12 of those seats were empty.

Baumann alleges the board hasn't been in operation since 2007 and should be setting hiring and best-practices standards for the department to follow.

City officials wouldn't comment on the lawsuit, but the city had argued in April for a judge to throw out the suit entirely. That motion failed.

Baumann says he and the rank-and-file officers he leads are frustrated by what they say is a lack of oversight.

"That board has not been in operation for five years. And when we talk about standards, what we talk about is making this an agency that's competitive with everyone around us with greater oversight, greater transparency and a tougher civilian review process," he said. "We're left in a situation where there has to be oversight -- and where do we go for that oversight? This problem is not going to fix itself."

- Aubrey Whelan

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