Foot Patrol Update

2009 July 14
by Chuck Shotton

Still waiting to hear the full details, but  this comment from a LeesburgTalk reader contains some good news. It was announced at the town council work session last night that foot, bike, and car patrols of the area inside Catoctin circle will be stepped up “from 10 AM to 10 PM” effective immediately. I suppose the other 12 hours of the day, we’re on our own, but it’s definitely an improvement. [UPDATE: Here’s a link to the webcast of last night’s council work session. Police chief Joe Price is the first speaker.]

I think one of the more relevant points in this comment is the discussion about why the emergency alert service failed to offer up any sort of warning for over 3 hours. I find it, quite frankly, unbelievable that not one person in all of Loudoun Co. and Leesburg could take the 20 seconds it would take to activate this system with a message saying “stay inside, gunman on the loose”. I managed to get a blog post on the air from my iPhone while running down Edwards Ferry Rd. 60 secs after the guy fired a shot in the street. Surely someone in the sheriff’s department in a nice air conditioned office with a full keyboard and a cup of coffee could do at least as well.

As a side note, I want to make it clear that I completely support the Leesburg police department. I got to see them up close, in action, on Friday and they were as professional and effective as you could have hoped. The issue lurking behind all of this is one of support (or lack of support) for the police department by certain members of the town council. It’s a long story for another post, but please don’t confuse my rants on this issue as being anything but supportive of the town police given the situation they are placed in by their “bosses.”

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