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MPD Chief Says 'File Burn' Was Routine

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D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier says it's not unusual or improper for the police force to burn documents, even as union officials demand an investigation into how police department records came to be placed in trash bins and set afire.

Lanier told The Associated Press that burning records is a federally accepted method for disposing of documents. She says it can be more efficient to burn a large quantity of documents, instead of shredding them.

The documents were burned earlier this month at the fire department training academy. An email obtained by the AP shows that a police department recruiting official advised his staff a day earlier about a "file burn.'' Lanier said an earlier email from the official specified the records intended for the burn pertained to disqualified applicants.

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