WASHINGTON, D.C. –- (RealEstateRama) — The office Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) today released Norton’s statement on her meeting with U.S. Park Police Chief Robert MacLean to discuss last week’s handcuffing by Park Police of three juveniles for selling water on the National Mall.
“I appreciate our meeting with Chief MacLean and his willingness to discuss candidly the handcuffing of teens on the Mall and ways to prevent the handcuffing of juveniles in the future. Chief MacLean said that the Park Police recognize that juveniles’ encounters with police have long and lasting impacts on their lives. Chief MacLean said he and others in the chain of command will remind his officers at roll call that they have great discretion when dealing with juveniles and others who are caught vending illegally on the Mall. I stressed to him that verbal warnings should be used whenever possible, particularly for first-time offenders, who may not be aware of the prohibition on vending. Of course, we both want to protect the National Mall from degradation by unlicensed vending, but it is critical the Park Police uses appropriate action to confront it and prevent what happened last week from occurring again.
“Not only large federal sites, such as the Mall and Rock Creek Park, are under the jurisdiction of the Park Police, but so are our neighborhood parks, which are almost all owned and operated by the National Park Service. Because of the spread of parks throughout the District of Columbia, Park Police are one of two federal police forces that have city-wide local jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction buttresses and assists the Metropolitan Police Department, and the Park Police have been helpful to the city in not only patrolling our parks, but also in mitigating crime around parks. It is this service, not the incident of June 22, that should define the Park Police. Chief MacLean wants to use that incident to further inform their juvenile policy and improve their encounters with young people in the District.”