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While change rolls through the D.C. government — new mayor, new police chief, new attorney general — at least one veteran said last week he will keep his post. D.C. Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-large) retained his chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, although its name grew a bit longer to become the Public Safety and the Judiciary Committee. Some lawyers who have appeared before the committee praised Mendelson for his cool-headed approach as chairman during the past two years. Mendelson says he “made it clear I wanted to continue as chair” in part because there is a learning curve to issues before the committee, including the oversight of public-safety agencies. “It is to the Council’s advantage that experienced legislators continue with the oversight they have begun,” he says. In remarks at the Jan. 3 public inauguration ceremony, Mendelson said his top priority would be improving emergency medical services. Mendelson says he also wants to deploy police officers more effectively, increase the case-closure rate, and provide more rehabilitative and educational programs at the D.C. Jail to reduce recidivism.
Brendan Smith can be contacted at [email protected].

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