Three weeks ago Police Chief Cathy Lanier and Mayor Adrien Fenty unveiled the "Safe Homes Initiative." Metro police officers were instructed to go door-to-door in the city's high-crime neighborhoods and ask permission to look for guns and drugs in exchange for amnesty. My take on the issue is right here. Needless to say, I thought the plan was the worst kind of bullshit. People would be intimidated into forfeiting their Fourth Amendment rights.
Thankfully, some like minded people convinced Chief Lanier to scrap most of the plan. The Safe Homes Initiative is now by appointment only. That way intimidated family members or concerned parents can call for a search without having an intimidating police presence knocking on doors.
Even if the plan works now works in theory, in practice is something else entirely.
A Safe Homes program similar to the District's was announced in Boston last week after several months of citizen resistance and delays. That department has yet to get a call to search a home.
"We're still waiting for the phone calls to come in," said Elaine Driscoll, spokeswoman for the Boston police."
I prefer the latter.