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D.C. plan for hundreds of Nats playoff cops could cost $1m

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Local,DC,Nationals,Alan Blinder

D.C. police plan to deploy more than 400 officers to protect Nationals Park and postgame celebrations if the team goes deep into the post-season, an internal document obtained by The Washington Examiner shows.

According to the memo, the agency would assign more than 200 officers from the Civil Disturbance Unit to handle a single wild-card playoff game, if one is needed, and National League Division Series games.

If the Nationals advance to the National League Championship Series or the World Series, the number of police officers handling baseball-related security throughout the city would double.

Playoff calendar
While the exact dates of any playoff games in Washington remain undecided, Major League Baseball has designated the following days as potential game days:
Wild Card: Oct. 5
Division Series: Oct. 6-12
League Championship Series: Oct. 14-15, Oct. 17-19 and Oct. 21-22
World Series: Oct. 24-25, Oct. 31 and Nov. 1

In the document, the department's special operations division commander said the agency was planning the deployments "to ensure security for all attendees" outside the stadium, to manage traffic and "provide added personnel in patrol districts where post-game activities are most likely."

(Read more about the city's playoff preparations: Metro service during playoffs remains unresolved)

Gwendolyn Crump, a police spokeswoman, described the plan as "a prudent and proactive measure to be prepared for events and celebrations that may have a citywide impact."

The document said the detailed officers will be pulled from each of the city's seven police districts and could have their usual work schedules modified to accommodate the playoff calendar.

Crump said the reworked shifts would not impact the typical police presence throughout the city.

"These officers complement the districts' regular police deployment, so there is no disruption of police services in their respective neighborhoods," Crump said.

But Kris Baumann, the leader of the city's police union, argued there would be an impact.

"It's going to end up costing taxpayers not only a lot of money to pay the officers, but also a lot of grief and concerns because those police officers aren't in the neighborhoods," Baumann said.

Under the city's deal with the Nationals, District taxpayers are on the hook for the costs of the extra security, a tab that could touch six figures for a single game and cross the $1 million mark for the full post-season. Playoff baseball could reach into early November.

But Ward 2 Councilman Jack Evans, the chairman of the council's finance committee, said security expenses would be a down payment for revenues that he said could top $1 million for every World Series game.

"The amount of money we make on a game dwarfs the cost of a game," Evans said. "It's expenses we didn't anticipate, but it's also revenue we didn't anticipate."

Baumann slammed the city, though, for negotiating a lease of Nationals Park that leaves the District paying for security.

"The officers can be hired on an overtime basis by the Nationals," Baumann said. "That's what should have been included in those contracts. It's inexcusable."

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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