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Councilmember Kathy Patterson
Letter to MPD Chief Charles Ramsey on the
“Progress Report on Homicide Reviews”

July 9, 2001




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Progress Report on Homicide Reviews

July 9, 2001

Charles H. Ramsey
Chief of Police
Metropolitan Police Department
300 Indiana Avenue NW
Washington D.C. 20001

Dear Chief Ramsey:

Thank you for forwarding to me the "Progress Report on Homicide Review" per my request of June 12, 2001. I write to ask for additional information based on the progress report.

1. On page 10 are four bulleted references to training -- for all supervisors, Command Staff, investigative supervisors, and a 3-week criminal investigator course. When will each of those trainings take place?

2. It appears from the progress report that you envision an ongoing role for the "homicide review team" which was hired, initially, to conduct a 1-time review of cases. How is this consulting work funded? From which object class and responsibility center within the MPD FY 2001 and 2002 budgets is the homicide review team compensated? What is the total amount budgeted in each fiscal year?

3. Also on page 10 is reference to "a contract with ACISS, Inc." to link homicide information with ViCAP. What is the status of that contract? Is it a sole-source contract already negotiated? I would appreciate receiving all background documentation concerning this contract or contract extension.

4. What is the current implementation target date for the SOP?

5. Among the most troubling aspects of the report was this reference on page 4 of the May Homicide Project Report: "Additionally, a comprehensive review of 29 open cases from January through March 2001 revealed 10 cases with promising investigative leads. There was no documentation in the master file to indicate followup of leads." I note that this finding relates to a period of time when homicide and the importance of this work received widespread press attention. What action have you taken or are you taking with regard to these 10 cases and what amounts to a shortcoming both in investigation and supervision indicated in this reference?

6. The final six bullets on page 4-5 amount to another serious critique of supervision and management overseeing homicide investigations -- "lack of supervision," "shortage of supervisors with sound investigative experience," "lack of Command oversight" and "lack of accountability by command." What steps have you taken with regard to command staff resposibilities in this regard, and, in particular, how are these comments reflected in the MPD's process of evaluating command staff?

7. Please provide me with documentation of the sign-off by the Office of Quality Assurance and the U.S. Attorney's Office, and a copy of the case summary (see first paragraph on page 6 for reference) provided to the Executive Assistant Chief, on these cases closed by "cold case" detectives in 7D. The case numbers follow: H.O. 89-1262; H.O. 97-0045; H.O. 91-1325; H.O. 96-0654; H.O. 96-0866; H.O. 98-0450; H.O. 93-0685; H.O. 96-0111; H.O. 98-1128; H.O. 98-0046; H.O. 98-0828; H.O. 98-0657; H.O. 98-0787; H.O. 98-0788; H.O. 98-1053; H.O. 97-1259; H.O. 92-267; H.O. 92-1656; H.O. 91-1099; H.O. 92-928; H.O. 95-1351; H.O. 92-1306; H.O. 95-0799; H.O. 93-1564; H.O. 97-0693; H.O. 91-1435; H.O. 93-1449; H.O. 97-0318; H.O. 98-0490; H.O. 92-1222; H.O. 97-223; H.O. 97-932; H.O. 97-933; H.O. 92-941; H.O. 93-0301 and H.O. 94-4110.

8. On page 6 is reference to 22 cases "to be reassigned" of which only three have been sent back to their districts for reassignment. Please explain the disparity, and why only 3 of 22 have been, in fact, reassigned.

9. On page 8 is a list of the review team's accomplishments. Please share with me a copy of the review team's "proposal for the District Investigative Support Command" and the "proposal for duties and responsibilities for the position of Chief of Detectives."

I would appreciate receiving this information by July 31, 2001. Thank you very much.

Sincerely yours,

Kathy Patterson

cc: Deputy Mayor Kellems

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