WASHINGTON — D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says a police escort provided to actor Charlie Sheen violated department protocol.
Lanier said Thursday in a statement to The Associated Press that police officers on escort duty aren't supposed to activate emergency equipment, such as lights and sirens, and don't travel into other jurisdictions without help from other law enforcement agencies. She says the department is investigating.
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump says Sheen's promotion company has sent the department a $445 check for the escort.
Sheen posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he had received a high-speed escort from D.C. police to a performance in downtown Washington. The escort stretched at least part of the way from Dulles International Airport in Virginia. He included a picture of a speedometer reaching about 80 mph.
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The police escort is the latest bit of news for the celebrity actor, who's waged a high-profile court fight to get his sitcom job back. He also has given a series of TV interviews in recent months that have launched phrases like "winning!" and "tiger blood" into the popular vernacular.
D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson, who chairs the council's committee on public safety, said Friday he considered the escort inappropriate and was glad it was being investigated.
"It especially looks bad given that citizens are concerned about cutbacks in the size of the force," Mendelson said. "Not only is it inappropriate to be escorting celebrities, it just amazes me that somebody who was the recipient of this would then go and broadcast it the way he did."
Sheen spokesman Larry Solters declined to comment Friday. A spokeswoman for D.A.R. Constitution Hall, where Sheen performed, said the venue had nothing to do with arranging transportation, including the escort.
Lanier told WTTG-TV that the department does not escort celebrities, but that there are circumstances in which the police will provide escorts for security. The recipients are generally expected to repay the department for the use of the extra manpower.
She said that Sheen's police would appear to violate department policy, based on what she knows so far.
Kris Baumann, the chairman of the D.C. police union, said vendors or production companies regularly hire the police department for escorts similar to the one provided to Sheen.
"The question becomes should we be doing it, and if we are doing, what are the policies, what are the procedures to handle it?" he said.
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