City Paper is not for tourists
Last month, when the D.C. Parole Board moved into 300 Indiana Avenue NW, the board added a special feature to its new digs: elaborate—and expensive—security doors to protect some 30 employees in upper management. Even post-Waco, the doors seem a bit much. The new building—which also serves as Metropolitan Police Department headquarters—already has entryway metal detectors, and parole-board members rarely interact with ex-cons they release into the community. But parole officers, who have close contact with their felonious clientele, aren’t shielded by the new gates. Parole board chair Margaret Quick insists the electronic doors protect everyone, but a brief tour last week revealed that the doors—which can cost between $6,000 and $15,000 for a set of four—only secure employees at the top of the food chain. Adding to the insult, the pricey—and largely unnecessary—doors were installed at a time when parole officers are being asked to buy their own Wite-Out and are barred from calling directory assistance. One officer posits that the doors might have another purpose: to keep the peons from mingling with the upper echelon. Previously, the board and parole officers were housed at separate locations.