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Interim DC police chief will personally run hate crimes unit during inauguration

Interim DC police chief will personally run hate crimes unit during inauguration
MPDC Riot Police gearing up for the National Socialists Movement March Against Illegal Immigrants on the National Mall on Saturday afternoon, April 19, 2008.Photo: Flickr/Elvert Xavier Barnes Photography

WASHINGTON (AP) — Responding to Inauguration Day safety concerns, Washington’s interim police chief has taken direct oversight of an office that assists in investigating hate crimes.

Metropolitan Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a news conference Wednesday that the Jan. 20 inauguration has expedited the department’s plans to realign its Special Liaison Division units.

The units will now consolidate to an office in Dupont Circle. The staff provides assistance to the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender populations, as well as to Asians, Latinos and the deaf and hard-of-hearing who have been victimized or have problems with law enforcement.

Newsham says the change comes partially in response to safety concerns some minority groups have expressed. President-elect Donald Trump’s rhetoric has been widely criticized for emboldening supporters to take part in hate crimes.

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