AROUND D.C.

Moose criticized for book and movie deals
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose has been the subject of heated criticism for his plans to authorize the making of a book and movie about his experiences during the sniper manhunt last fall that instilled fear throughout the D.C. Metropolitan area.

Moose’s wife exacerbated the already strained tensions between the police chief and Montgomery County officials by comparing Moose to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr., the Washington Post reported.

Walter E. Bader, president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s Montgomery County lodge, called the comparison “disgusting.”

“Mandela spent a quarter-century in jail fighting for equality and the rights of officers,” Bader told the Post. “Martin Luther King was jailed and killed because he made sacrifices for others. (Moose) is fighting for his own personal profit.”

Moose said if necessary he would fight the county in court to secure a book deal worth more than $170,000 and a movie deal worth an undisclosed amount.

Man jumps out of courtroom window
A man is in stable condition after jumping out of a second story window after being sentenced to five years in prison for beating his girlfriend.

John A. Brock, 33, suffered cuts and broken bones after plunging 20 feet from a courtroom in the Calvert County, Md., Courthouse, the Washington Post reported. Correctional officers were able to apprehend a motionless Brock, who was charged with escape from confinement and destruction of property for breaking the courthouse window.

After being sentenced, Brock told the judge, “If you give me five years, I might as well throw myself out that window.” Brock then turned toward a nearby window and ran headfirst through the glass, a witness told the Post.

“There was pandemonium in the courthouse,” Maryland Deputy Attorney Laura L. Martin told the Post.

Council cuts MPD budget
The D.C. City Council cut $3 million from the Metropolitan Police’s proposed budget, derailing the department’s plans to increase its staff by 100 officers next year.

Although the cuts reduce the total proposed budget from $379 million to $376 million for the fiscal year 2004, the budget still increased from a 2003 budget of $321.5 million, the Washington Times reported.

MPD wanted to increase its manpower from 3,700 officers to 3,800, as part of an effort to increase patrols in District neighborhoods, the Times reported.

Councilmembers told the Times that they were concerned that the $3 million dollars wouldn’t be used for paying new officers, and added that budget increases in the past have not led to hiring more officers.

Councilwoman Kathy Patterson (Ward 3) said MPD’s funds should be allocated more efficiently, the Times reported.

“The committee recommends better managing the force we have as the most sensible and cost-effective way to increase police visibility,” Patterson wrote in a budget analysis, as reported by the Times.

Patterson said the budget cut would free up more money for the D.C. public library system and raise salaries for city employees.
-Michael Barnett

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