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Executive Office of the Mayor
Talking points promoting pay raise for Metropolitan Police Department Chief Charles Ramsey
May 2003




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  • Base Pay - $175K
  • Pension - increase from 2.5% to 3.43% (see details below)
  • Term - 4 years, 9 months (Mayor's term plus a year) - beyond the Mayor's term because that helps depoliticize the police department, and a new Mayor probably wouldn't have a Chief on Day 1 of his/her Administration
  • Severance - 6 months, same as before (with it pro-rating in last 6 months) - keep in mind that this means if the Mayor asked him to leave for no reason, the only difference between the Chief and any other agency head is that the Chief would get 6 months instead of 3.


(mostly base, not including other soft benefits)

  • Philadelphia -- $140K
  • Dallas -- $140K (with $162K pending in local legislature)
  • Louisville -- $145K (dept has 1,246 officers)
  • Virginia Beach -- $150K and currently recruiting (dept has 777 officers)
  • Montgomery County -- $160K for Moose in March 2003 (up from $150K)
  • Boston -- $160K
  • NYC -- $163K
  • San Diego -- $166K
  • Miami -- $173K for Timony in Dec 2002 (dept has 1,100 officers)
  • Atlanta -- $226K for Pennington in June 2002 ($157K base plus $68K in hard benefits) (population 416K, dept has 1,479 officers)
  • LA - $239K for Bratton in Oct 2002 (plus some undisclosed other $36K in comp)


  • Chief Ramsey hasn't gotten a raise in 5 years. Under this contract, it would be one raise in 10 years.
  • If he had just received the annual increases that were given to every other sworn member of the Department in the last five years (3%, 4%, 4%, 4%, 5%, 1999-2003), he would be making $182,500 today.


  • Pension change yields a retirement benefit of about $60K annually from DC
  • If we did not change his pension but only gave him the salary increase, his pension would be $44K a year. This is a $16K increase in pension payout.
  • If you take into account his $80K Chicago pension, he's at an 80% pension level.
    • If he stayed in Chicago for 10 years, he would have been entitled to an 80% pension there.
    • Retirees will need at least 70% - 80% of pre-retirement income to live comfortably in retirement (Employee Benefit Research Inst., 2003 survey)
    • 80% is consistent with other Chiefs' compensation packages


  • On Overall Crime - During the past 5 years, DC has had fewer serious crimes than any other period dating back to the mid-1960's when the FBI began record keeping.
    • Crime is down 14% since 1997 and 2+% this year over last.
    • Compared to 1997, the rate of almost every major crime category is down (except auto theft and rape).
  • On Homicides - 301 in 1997. 233 in 2001. 262 in 2002. Right now we are up about 10% over last year. There are other cities that are worse per capita (e.g., New Orleans at a population of 485,000), though in cities over 500,000, we switch back and forth with Detroit.
  • On Use of Force - Since 1998, there has been a 62.5% reduction in the officers' use of deadly force and the MPD's Force Investigation Team is now a recognized national model.
  • On Staffing - Under Chief Ramsey, the average recruit now has 13.5 years of education. The department is dramatically more diverse through programs like Ramsey's recruitment campaign in Puerto Rico. There are liaison units now with the Latino, GLBT, Asian, and deaf/hard of hearing communities.
  • On Infrastructure Investment - When Chief Ramsey arrived, his mandate and mission were to invest in the basics of the Department. That's what he's done.
    • Training - no in-service training when he arrived and most officers not recently certified in firearms. Now there is 40 hours of in-service training each year, plus 16 hours of training in firearms and use of force:
    • Equipment - when the Chief arrived, officers were grossly ill-equipped in all respects. Now, officers carry personal protective gear to protect against bio and chemical substances. They also carry less than lethal weapons.
    • Fleet - the average age of the fleet has gone from 10 years old to 3.5.
    • Technology - Mobile computers in much of the fleet now allowing electronic dispatching and records checks from the field. Crime-mapping in the morning crime briefing (like New York's ComStat). A state of the art Joint Command Center for major events. A closed circuit TV network in several public venues.
  • On 911 and 311-When the Chief arrived, the 911 system was completely unreliable and "crashed" not infrequently. There is still work to be done, but in 5 years, there has been significant progress under the Chief.
    • The Chief implemented a state-of-the-art, Y2K-compliant Computer Automated Dispatch, used both by Police and Fire/EMS.
    • 311 was introduced to lessen the burden of non-emergency calls to 911.
    • A new Public Safety Communication Center co-locating both Police and Fire/EMS and personnel was opened on McMillan Drive, NW. Not only did the PSCC further the consolidation effort, it allowed the District to implement a state-of-the-art front end telephone switching and call-answering system.
    • Through stronger management, including more efficient staffing, progress is being made on reducing call-answer times.
    • Currently hiring a full complement of civilian call-takers and implementing a pilot of the universal call taker (answering both police and fire / EMS)
  • On Traffic Enforcement - Thanks to an aggressive traffic and photo enforcement campaign implemented by the Chief, traffic fatalities are down 21 % since 1997 while the national trend is on the rise.


  • On hiring up to 3800 in the past - the Council asserts that Ramsey has always had the finding to hire up to 3800 police in prior years and has failed to do it. In no meaningful sense is that true. There are two primary issues:
    • Funding the salaries of 3800 officers, while simultaneously grossly underfunding other essential areas such as non-discretionary court related overtime, forces MPD to redirect the salaries money to other areas to cover the gap.
    • The OCFO consistently did not even properly budget the full compensation costs of 3800. They would, for example, apply the percentage pay raise due each year only to the salary line and not to the overtime, benefits, comp time, or other compensation lines in the budget, creating an automatic spending pressure that was again covered by salary lapse.
  • On Homicide Clearance rate - Like other major cities, DC continues to face challenges in closing homicides (more execution-style killings, lack of witness cooperation, etc). 2002 closure rate of 55% was a 5% increase over 2001, and is on par with other cities this size. To improve the clearance rate, Chief Ramsey has implemented new promotion, training and accountability measures for detectives.
  • On Managing Large Events and Protests - This stems from last fall's IMF demonstrations in which a number of protesters, and allegedly some innocent bystanders, were caught up in a mass arrest sweep that they are now challenging in court. Regardless of the legal merits of that claim, it can not be said that MPD has a pattern or practice of engaging in unconstitutional policing techniques to control demonstrations and protests. DC experiences dozens of major events and protests annually, and manages them exceptionally well. Chief Ramsey has consistently demonstrated his commitment to letting protestors protest, while protecting the public and private property throughout the city.
  • On the PSA System - Chief Ramsey is leading a redesign and restructuring of the current Patrol Service Area (PSA) system to maximize resources and enhance community policing. The new boundaries will align to the Neighborhood Clusters that are used for planning and other service delivery and will help MPD align more closely with natural communities and other city services. Councilmembers and staff have been heavily involved.
  • On Deployment - Twice as many officers are assigned to PSAs as were assigned when the program began in 1997. "Redeployment" is putting even more officers on the streets in hot-spots. Ramsey has committed to putting all of the new nearly 200 officers who will be hired in FY04 into the PSAs. He has also committed to deploying 62% of officers, sergeants, and lieutenants in the Department to the PSAs.
  • On Dealing with Terrorist Threat - Chief Ramsey has created an excellent operating relationship with the federal partners at FBI, DHS, and all of the relevant agencies. Through his Joint Command Center, Chief Ramsey has improved the intelligence sharing and operational coordination immeasurably. This is the best way to leverage resources to make sure that officers are able to stay in the neighborhoods while still protecting the monumental core of the city during these trying times.

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