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Testimony of Chief  of Police Larry D. Soulsby
Before the Council of the District of Columbia Committee on the Judiciary
October 10, 1997




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


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New Department Charter New Department Mission Statement New Operating Model Problem-Solving Approach
Crime and Arrests Homicide Investigations Overtime Infrastructure
Consolidation and Decentralization Management and Standards Performance Management Future Activities
Memorandum of Understanding Partners Organizational Culture Conclusion  


Good afternoon Mr. Chairman. I want to thank you and the other members of the Committee on the Judiciary for the opportunity to discuss the transformation of the Metropolitan Police Department and the many accomplishments that we have achieved over the past ten months. During the past months many improvements have been made to the operations and organization of the Metropolitan Police Department, and while many changes are still to occur, it is clear that we are on the road to success and regaining our position as one of the best police departments in the country.


In December of last year an MOU partnership was formed comprised of myself, the Mayor, the City Council, the Chief Judge of the Superior Court, the Corporation Council, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, and the Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority to address the public safety crisis facing the District of Columbia. One of the first conclusions reached by the MOU Partners was the need to enhance the authority of the Chief of Police.

Many of the problems confronting the department were, it was felt, caused by undue interference with the Chief's leadership and management of the agency. The Mayor of the District of Columbia, as an MOU Partner, instituted a new charter for the Metropolitan Police Department on February 26, 1997, which gives the Chief of Police the ability to manage and direct the affairs of the agency in all critical areas.

Charter of the Metropolitan Police Department

The Charter for the office the Chief of Police, of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, is to develop and execute effective strategies that prevent and reduce crime, disorder, fear of crime, and improve the quality of life for all citizens in the District of Columbia. This will be accomplished in partnership with the community, and other appropriate government agencies, and in accordance with constitutional values and applicable laws. The Chief of Police will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the department; as such, the Chief is responsible for establishing professional standards that maintain a higher level of integrity and ethical conduct that is generally accepted of others, and will be responsible and accountable for all activities involving the Metropolitan Police Department. All operations of the department, including planning, organizing, staffing, coordinating, directing, reporting, and budgeting of department and related community resources, will be oriented toward serving the needs of a diverse community, as well as the federal interests associated with Washington's unique role as the Nation's Capital.

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Once the Metropolitan Police Department's new Charter had been established it was used as the foundation for the development of a new department mission statement, one which is a simple, clear, straightforward description of the department's mission. A mission statement that serves as the guiding principle upon which all future actions must be based.

Mission of the Metropolitan Police Department

The mission of the Metropolitan Police Department is to eliminate crime, fear of crime, and general disorder, while establishing respect and trust within the community.

This new mission statement is carried by all sworn and civilian members on a small pocket card to remind them of the department's primary objectives in serving the community.

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On July 1, 1997, a New Operating Model was implemented for the Metropolitan Police Department. The New Operating Model itself is the work of a team made up of 20 experienced and dedicated sworn and civilian department employees representing field and support organizational elements throughout the department. The "Group of 20" (or "G20" as they are sometimes called) worked closely for several weeks with the Booz,.Allen & Hamilton project team to develop a new community-oriented philosophy for delivering police services to residents of the District of Columbia.

The Group of 20 surveyed their colleagues in the field for ideas, which they then brainstormed and analyzed to develop the New Operating Model and District Policing Strategy. Men and women on the front lines of policing in the District were able to contribute their knowledge, expertise, and common sense on how the department organizes and deploys its resources. The plan transforms police patrol in the District and lays the groundwork for productive and sustained citizen-police cooperation. It establishes accountability to neighborhoods for reducing levels of crime, fear of crime, and disorder.

Our New Operating Model realigns patrol district boundaries and divides the city into 83 Police Service Areas (PSA's) that operate within the framework of the department's seven patrol districts. Each PSA is served by a team comprised of patrol officers, detectives, and vice investigators. This is a decentralization of personnel and authority away from specialized units to basic street-level police patrol teams. The team provides 24-hour, seven days-per-week coverage to a geographically manageable, neighborhood based area.

An essential feature of the new model is that, to the extent possible, officers remain assigned to individual PSA's so they can better know and serve specific neighborhoods. The long-term assignment is meant to reinforce the team members' sense of ownership and accountability to their PSA and community. Another crucial accountability and management factor is that each team is led by a single PSA sergeant who has overall responsibility for police service within the PSA.

The PSA sergeant is required to develop a thorough knowledge of the area, and will soon be equipped with a beeper whose number will be provided to residents and business people in the PSA. Within reason and in non-emergency situations, citizens can page their PSA sergeant to seek or provide information, volunteer for neighborhood anti-crime projects, or register concerns.

The PSA structure is designed to serve several purposes: to establish and maintain a closer alliance with the community to reduce crime and the fear of crime; to provide each neighborhood with a clear channel for input into PSA plans and operations; and, to greatly enhance police ability to obtain the community's support, time, and energy in achieving common objectives.

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Accompanying the reorganization of patrol is the application of a new strategic problem-solving approach to drugs, guns, gangs, and disorder, those factors that lead to cycles of serious crime and disruption in communities. The problem-solving approach is responsible for many of the crime-fighting success stories in other cities that you may have heard about. Problem-solving operates by (1) identifying the underlying cause of a cluster of criminal incidents; (2) determining the best plan to eliminate or neutralize the cause; (3) putting the plan into action; and (4) making certain it is working. It is aimed at the sources of chronic crime and disorder, whether they be homicides, neighborhood drug markets, street corner prostitution, or garbage clogged alleys that suggest no one cares about conditions in a neighborhood.

The new approach means that the MPD no longer will spend all its patrol time responding to 911 calls and reacting after the fact to criminal incidents. With the significantly increased number of officers on the streets, the PSA teams will have the time and training to attack neighborhood crime and disorder through planning, analysis, and skillful application of the best police practices developed throughout the nation.

Problem-solving encourages officers to use a variety of methods, not just arrests, to solve problems. These methods include using civil laws to control public nuisances, offensive behavior, and conditions contributing to crime; attaching new conditions to parole and probation; issuing citations in lieu of arrests; and tracking repeat offenders. The message here is: not everyone has to be locked-up every time for every offense. For example, civil action permanently closing down a nightclub known for persistent drug trafficking can be more effective than recurring police raids.

I fully realize that the New Operating Model is seen as a threat by some individuals. There are many people in this city who are used to privileged treatment. They are used to calling a district commander direct, a captain direct, a Councilmember, the Chief's office, and so on, to get their concerns or demands or problems handled ahead of other citizens. That situation was fundamentally unfair to the vast majority of citizens who don't know how to "work the system." The New Operating Model puts a stop to this preferential treatment. It ensures continuing commitment, equal treatment, and better quality service for everyone in the District of Columbia

Citizens deal directly with their Patrol Service Area sergeant, their PSA officers, their PSA detectives. When they have a problem, when they have a concern, when they have a request, they go directly to their grass roots neighborhood police sergeant and officers. They don't have to call the brass, they don't have to call downtown, they don't have to call an elected official to get service. Apparently, some individuals don't want this New Operating Model to succeed. But I think the majority of citizens in this city see it beginning to work and want to help us to make it succeed. I want everyone to join us and keep these crime rates going down.

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Let's focus for a moment on crime in the PSA's....

When looking at the preliminary crime and arrest statistics for the first nine months of 1997, you will see that our efforts are having an impact. Part I crime offenses from January 1 through September 30, 19971, is down 18 percent city-wide when compared to the same time period in 1996. Through the end of September, each of the department's seven patrol districts have achieved crime decreases, with five of the seven districts having achieved double-digit reductions.

Let's examine for a moment the crime picture in our New Operating Model 83 Police Service Areas. For the months of July and August 1997, the first two months the PSA concept was operating in the seven patrol districts, Part I crimes have been reduced in 72 of the 83 PSA's.

Looking at individual crime categories for the first nine months of 1997 we find that:

  • Crimes Against Persons were down 16 percent when compared to 1996.
  • Crimes Against Property were reduced 18 percent when compared to 1996.
  • Robbery, a crime contributing to the sense of fear and victimization in the community, was down 26 percent when compared to 1996.
  • Burglary, an invasive crime that makes citizens apprehensive about the safety and security of their homes, was down 25 percent when compared to 1996.
  • Stolen Auto, seen at this point last year as a crime that was totally out of control, was down by 26 percent when compared to 1996.

The total number of arrests that have been made by the men and women of the department in the period of January 1, 1997, through September 30, 1997, have increased by 26 percent when compared to the same period in 1996. In 1997 the arrest trend has changed from a decrease to an increase and the crime trend from an increase to a decrease.

While these crime reduction achievements are significant, I believe that we can and must do even better. As I have already stated publicly, I believe that we can achieve even greater decreases in crime. The men and women of the department are working hard to bring about a lasting sense of safety and security to our communities. Our challenge is to continue this progress in the coming months.

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While I am discussing crime, let me take a few minutes to discuss the most outrageous crime of all: homicide. I am certain that members of the Council have seen the recent media reports about the management, supervisory, and process improvements that I recently made in the department's Homicide Branch. Those changes resulted from the findings of a panel of experts that I specifically charged to review the operations of the Homicide Branch.

But first, let me briefly mention the homicide crime statistics. From January 1, 1997, through September 30, 1997, homicide was down 23%. That total is the lowest number of homicides in the first nine months of any calendar year since 1988. If you were to compare the first nine months of 1997 with the first nine months of 1993, you would see that homicide is down 31% from where it was at that point in the all-time peak year.

Early this year, I first discussed with our management consultants the need to bring in a team of experienced homicide investigators, forensic specialist, and prosecutors to focus on the Homicide Branch investigative process. After having poured in hundreds thousands of dollars in physical resources over the last 10 years, why was the closure rate continually below the national average?

The review team was on-site in early September. After reviewing the Homicide Branch's operations, the case investigative and management process and the NDIC reports, the team reached the same basic conclusions contained in the NDIC report. The most significant weakness in the Homicide Branch was management and supervision. That weakness lead, in turn, to lax investigative procedures and the other failures which we are aggressively moving to correct today.

During the course of their review, the panel discovered the existence of several reports prepared by the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) discussing the findings of a comprehensive review of Metropolitan Police Department homicide case jackets from 1991 to 1994. The NDIC review was conducted by trained intelligence analysts, experts whose sole function is to review and make investigative judgments of criminal cases. The analysts made several determinations, including a finding that additional investigative effort could result in the closure of 136 cases.

There was little or no case management during the time period examined by the analysts. The contents of the case jackets were indicative of poor management and supervisory practices:

  • Death reports were missing;

  • Autopsy reports were missing;

  • Evidence, laboratory, and firearms examination reports were missing;

  • Case resumes were incomplete, not up to date, or missing entirely;

  • Notations to indicate supervisory review were missing.

Case jackets for several hundred homicides which occurred during the time period could not be located.
The NDIC analysts made approximately 50 specific recommendations to improve Homicide Branch case management and operations. They even provided a sample case check sheets, designed specifically for the Metropolitan Police Department, to assist Homicide Branch supervisors when reviewing cases! The reports included specific investigative activities and/or additional investigation, which if pursued, might close several open homicide cases.

The reports and case reviews were forwarded to Captain Alan J. Dreher, then commander of the Homicide Branch, Captain William L. Hennessey, Homicide commander from September 19, 1993, to November 26, 1995, and Assistant United States Attorney Dave Shertler, then chief of the Homicide Section of the U.S. Attorney's Office. The reports, and the specific recommendations, were not forwarded or otherwise brought to the attention of management above the level of the Homicide Branch. For whatever reasons, these individuals chose not to share the contents of the reports with upper management.

It should be noted that every recommendation in the NDIC report could have been implemented on the Homicide Branch commander's own initiative and authority. This was not done.

Since the administration of Chief of Police Isaac Fulwood, Jr., through the administration of Chief of Fred Thomas to 1996, the department has applied many approaches and some quick-fixes or band-aids to the Homicide Branch. The former chiefs and myself have asked Homicide commanders: what do you need? For the most part, the commanders have received what they requested: more detectives, remodeled offices, modern telephone systems, cellular telephones, police cars, rental cars. The size of the Homicide Branch was tripled. I assigned 20 additional investigators to the Homicide Branch shortly after becoming Chief.

Within the budgets available to work with, we attempted to give the Homicide Branch all that was requested, sometimes at the expense of other operations. Nothing seemed to work. While homicides went up, the closure rated continued to fall --

1991: 58%

Was there more required than simply pouring in more and more resources?

Let's return for a moment to closure rates. A commonly accepted measure of an investigator's performance is the closure rate. These rates are usually calculated on an individual basis by investigator, then combined by unit for an overview of the investigative operation as a whole. An investigator's personal case closure rate, combined with regular review of his/her assigned case jackets and personal contact can give a fairly accurate picture of activity and results.

During the time period reviewed by NDIC, the Homicide Branch moved away from individual case closure evaluations to group evaluations by squad. The squad closure rate deflected attention from non-performing individuals, who were able to take shelter behind the efforts of their co-workers. It was virtually impossible to determine which investigators were performing and should be retained, as opposed to those not performing and should be replaced.

I instructed the commander of the Criminal Investigations Division to convert the Homicide Branch back to individual case closure rates. The result of his review and action: over half of the Homicide Branch investigators had not closed a case in the first six months of 1997!

In response to the findings of my team of experts and the NDIC analysis, I have initiated a comprehensive set of reforms to improve homicide investigations, to improve the supervision and management of homicide cases, and to make the Homicide Branch more responsive and accountable to the survivors, families, and friends of the homicide victims themselves. The initiative of which I speak is divided into three phases. It should be noted, however, that all three phases are being implemented at the same time. The key components of Phase One are the:

  • Establishment of a 50 member task force (20 MPD narcotics detectives -- 10 F.B.I. agents --10 DEA agents --10 MPD homicide detectives) to review and investigate as needed the 136 homicide cases that the NDIC found could be closed;
  • Assignment of two ATE agents to assist the task force in the tracking and tracing of firearms; and
  • The assignment of a full-time person from the Homicide Section, United States Attorney's Office, to work directly with the task force.

The three key components of Phase Two include the:

  • Expansion of the MPD/FBI Cold Case Squad. This squad will be responsible for investigating all open 1997 homicide cases. After its completion of the review of the open 1997 cases, the Cold Case Squad will begin an evaluation and assessment of open homicide cases which occurred from 1996-1993;
  • Assignment of a full-time person from the Homicide Section, United States Attorney's Office, to work directly with the Cold Case Squad; and
  • Area saturation for a 24-48 hour period whenever a homicide occurs in an effort to gain intelligence information that could lead to the arrest of the killer or killers.

The key components of Phase Three are the:

  • Implementation of a case management system and the establishment of standard operating procedures and protocols;
  • An enhanced victim assistance program to better serve and help family members and friends of homicide victims.
  • Creation of a secure Central File Room with card key access and time lapse camera;
  • Enhanced training by the U.S. Attorney's Office and development of a two week MPD homicide school; and
  • Purchase of a homicide kit for each member of the Homicide Branch consisting of a pen tablet computer, pocket tape recorder, digital cellular telephone with pager and voice mail capabilities, and a Polaroid camera.

As I said earlier, each of the three Phases of our plan are being carried out simultaneously so that we will be able to show substantial improvements in several areas at the same time. At the same time that we are implementing these improvements, we are also looking to the future to identify what actions are needed to ensure that the momentum that has been started will not dissipate, but will, instead be continued on into the foreseeable future. These include such issues as:

  • The institutionalization of systems to maintain accountability for performance and outcomes;
  • Career paths for homicide detectives;
  • The development of a problem-solving approach to address violent crime;
  • Investigative management training using performance management criteria; and
  • Technology integration that will allow for link analysis and the exchange of criminal intelligence information.

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The court overtime problem is not new and is just one of several problems concerning the Homicide Branch. It is a longstanding problem which the department has been attempting to address, with varying degrees of success, for the last 10 years.

Have we taken action to reduce overtime? Yes -- not last week after the media reports; not last month after the consultant's report -- but last year, in 1996 before any consultants were on board or any reports were "uncovered ."

Court overtime earned by members of the department is controlled, for all intents and purposes, by the U.S. Attorney's Office. Officers are summoned for trials, hearings, witness conference, etc., by the individual prosecuting attorneys. Since the overtime is not paid from the U.S. Attorney's budget, there is no incentive for limiting the number of officers called for a particular case. In many cases, investigators with no responsibility for or connection with a case are summonsed to court on an overtime basis to assist specific attorneys. While there is unlimited potential for abuse of the system, there are some attorneys who misuse the system by requesting more officers than necessary or by requesting officers to perform additional investigative functions for the prosecutor.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys routinely summoned Homicide Branch investigators to court in order to have them conduct additional investigation on CLOSED cases. Eventually this practice included Homicide Branch officials as well. It was common for Homicide detectives and sergeants to double or triple their base salary due to uncontrolled overtime, a situation which cost the department millions of dollars in overtime over the past 20 years. Because of the lure of overtime, eventually the situation became one where investigators were spending more time working for an assistant U.S. Attorney on closed, rather than open cases. The department was unable on its own to remedy the situation.

It is important to define what the term "closed" case actually means. A case is closed from the police officer's standpoint when an arrest is made. The officer "papers" the case with the prosecutor, the defendant is arraigned, and the case takes its course through the court system. The case is opened from the prosecutor's standpoint when the case is papered. The vast majority of cases are open-and-shut, from the standpoint of post-arrest investigation. However, homicide cases are the most complex, generate laboratory and forensic reports, and require additional contact with witnesses.

In many jurisdictions, the prosecutor has a staff of in-house investigators to handle these post-arrest investigative and case-related activities. The U.S. Attorney's Office does not have a comparable in-house staff, and are thus forced to use Homicide Branch investigators for these post-arrest activities. The investigators providing this assistance would otherwise be spending their time on active, open homicide investigations.) To this point, elected officials have chosen to ignore the U.S. Attorney's repeated requests for staff investigators to free MPD investigators from these activities.

One of my first actions after becoming Chief of Police was to enter a lengthy negotiation process with the U.S. Attorney to place formal controls on court overtime spending. These negotiations were successfully concluded with a signed memorandum of understanding on December 13, 1996. This MOU should serve to reduce court overtime and prevent most abuses.

The Criminal Investigations Division commander issued a division order on May 9, 1996, which established additional controls on overtime. These controls required approval by an official before overtime work was performed. The request was to be made by memorandum, to include an explanation of the purpose for all non-court related overtime.

What was the outcome of our efforts? One of the issues we discovered was that many Homicide Branch officials and investigators circumvented the terms of the MOU and the division order. Although they requested approval to work overtime on open homicide cases, once the approval was obtained they deliberately chose to work instead on closed homicide cases doing additional case support work for the prosecuting attorneys. Because the officials were involved in this circumvention, the basic system of checks and balances in place in any police department broke down completely. This situation clearly indicated an additional lack of management and supervision in the Homicide Branch.

The officials, sergeants and lieutenants, provide the primary checks and balances against misfeasance. When basic checks and balances break down, for whatever reason, the possibility of abuses arises. When the officials themselves are the major contributing factor to the situation, the only satisfactory resolution is replacing them with new sergeants and lieutenants.

Homicide Branch overtime is currently being audited by the Office of Professional Responsibility. In addition, managers and supervisors in the Homicide Branch are not allowed to work overtime on investigations. As a final thought, we would consider this overtime as well-spent, irrespective of the amount involved, if the expenditures and time spent were resulting in closed homicide cases ready for prosecution. A significant portion of the overtime earned by many personnel in the Homicide Branch resulted in NO closed cases and/or any indication of the work actually performed. The Homicide Branch's lack of management and supervision has resulted in significant expenditures, but no concurrent increase in case closures.

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When I became Chief of Police this city was entering the most severe financial crisis in its history. Deep budget cuts were made in all city agencies, including the Metropolitan Police Department. The department's funding was reduced significantly due to this financial crisis.

In 1995, the District of Columbia Council reduced pay and benefits for police officers. The department's authorized strength was reduced from 4,800 to 3,800 sworn members. The non-personal services budget was cut from $30 million to $13 million, a figure barely sufficient to fund minimum operations. The overtime budget was cut from $20 million to $10 million, with absolutely no reference to prior spending history. The budget cuts tied my hands when it came to correcting problems.

The city's situation was so desperate that the department received eviction notices for two of its leased facilities due to non-payment of rent. I am sure you recall the media stories about the Narcotics and Special Investigations Division and the Fleet Management Division about to be evicted from their buildings.

Because of these cuts, I was forced to make decisions based on a very strict order of priorities. What funds were available had to be reserved, I repeat had to be reserved, for the department's critical operational infrastructure and officer safety requirements. There was not one penny available for noncritical activities.

This situation presented stark choices: do I fund gasoline for Part I crime totals for 1997 are preliminary and are not official totals. or order upgraded computers; do I fund the 911 and radio system operations, or begin new management initiatives; do I provide operating funds for the district station houses, or do I remodel the Property Division warehouse. The answers should be obvious to even the most partisan observer.

In late 1995, the Honorable Newt Gingrich, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, asked Representative Fred Heinemann of North Carolina to lead an effort to identify additional funding for the District of Columbia's law enforcement community. This was part of the Speaker's attempt to assist the District of Columbia with funding to meet critical public safety and educational needs. After meeting with the city's key judicial and law enforcement officials, Representative Heinemann developed a $47 million funding proposal which addressed a wide range of needs for the D.C. Courts, the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Metropolitan Police Department. It should be noted that the $47 million proposal consisted entirely of "new" funds, that is funding not taken from other areas within the District budget.

However, some citizens and elected officials voiced opposition to the new money funding proposal, interpreting the Congressional initiative as an infringement of home rule. This opposition lead the House to abandon this effort to provide additional new funding.

Fortunately, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, developed his own initiative which ultimately provided the department with $15 million supplemental funding. However, due to the shortsighted opposition to the original House proposal, I was once again forced to make severe priority decisions when compensating for the "lost" $32 million.

I would like to discuss briefly a few of the infrastructure areas mentioned recently in a Washington Post article. The Post apparently obtained some incomplete reports surreptitiously, then used select pieces of information grossly out of context to paint a deliberately distorted picture.

The Fleet Management Baseline Analysis and Blueprint, a report which is still in the developmental stage, contains recommendations to enhance management controls and improve maintenance performance for the department's vehicle fleet. After this blueprint is finalized, it is estimated that recommended improvements will take up to six months to implement.

The recent Post article would lead you to believe there is a virtual field day for stealing gasoline from department pumps. Placed in the actual context of the report, however, the emphasis is on the lack of an automated dispensing system which would facilitate better management of the gasoline inventory and provide historical vehicle operating data. Looking at the facts for a moment, there was one case of theft from a department gas pump in the last two years; the individual involved was terminated.

The Council should be aware that I requested a feasibility study on privatizing the department's fleet operations during my first year as Chief of Police. Because of the budget situation at that time, outsourcing was simply not feasible. We are moving during this fiscal year to examine our fleet management options for the future.

Let's look at some recent facts:

On June 1, 1997, the Fleet Management Division began to remove from the fleet 200 unserviceable police vehicles in order to reduce operating costs.

On August 1, 1997, 150 new vehicles were received to replace unserviceable vehicles and maintain service levels.

The Mobile Digital Computers for PSA cars are in the delivery pipeline. The contract for the communications carrier has been awarded and the units should become operational before the end of the year.

The Property Division Infrastructure Redesign Blueprint contains numerous recommendations to improve the department's property control and warehouse operations. This blueprint builds on previous plans that have been developed to address aspects of the Property Division's operations:

  • Initial Assessment of the Property Division by Deputy Chief John J. Collins, dated February 1, 1993, a comprehensive plan for Property Division improvements,
  • Property Division Assessment and Status with Recommendations by Captain Philip A. O'Donnell, dated February 8, 1996, an updated reissuance of Deputy Chief Collins' report, and
  • The Business Process Reengineering plan for property handling and control developed for the department by Perot Systems, Inc., developed during my first year as Chief of Police.

Unfortunately, the department's ability to implement these plans, in whole or in part, was prevented by budgetary constraints and the priority required for day-to-day field and investigative operations.

There is no arguing that the Property Division warehouse is ill-suited for the department's needs. The department attempted from 1991 through 1994 to identify a suitable alternative location for the Property Division. However, personnel losses in the Real Property Administration, Department of Administrative Services, and the lack of a department capital budget allocation caused the search to be terminated during my predecessor's administration. I am currently awaiting the recommendations from the final Property Division blueprint before deciding what course to pursue in the f uture.

The Identification and Records Division Baseline Report and Blueprint contains records management and infrastructure improvements that are achievable in next six months, as well as long term recommendations.

However, let's separate fact from anecdote and get the context right at the outset. Let's get the facts from an identifiable source: the Chief of Police, not an unidentified official, not an unidentified retired official, or the man in the moon. There is not, nor has there ever been, a lieutenant working in the department mail room. There is a lieutenant with management responsibility for the mail room, along with several other units within the Identification and Records Division.

A few more facts:

  • The department's Printrak automated fingerprint identification system is being upgraded this month to Printrak's current generation, state-of-the-art configuration.
  • The department's LiveScan distributed identification system is installed in 10 booking sites and training is in progress. This will permit on-line identification of arrestees at the time of booking.
  • Central Cellblock backlogs were significantly reduced by the establishment of a centralized juvenile processing system by the Youth and Family Services Division.
  • Central Cellblock scheduling improvements and process improvements in other areas of the Identification and Records Division provided 22 sworn officers for immediate redeployment to the patrol districts. The officers were reassigned effective September 1, 1997.
  • The department's central field report review function was moved from the Information Services to the Identification and Records Division on September 15, 1997. This consolidates all operations for the department's report review, storage, and retrieval functions within the same division.

These are just a few examples of the infrastructure changes underway as the consultant study goes forward and additional technology initiatives are brought on line.

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We have consolidated patrol district station operations and decentralized many of our specialized units and headquarters investigative functions to the PSA's. Approximately 50 percent of all patrol district support staff have been redeployed to the PSA's. Today, 71 percent of all sworn department personnel are assigned to the seven patrol districts with another 17 percent assigned to investigative and direct PSA support functions. This means that 88 percent of all department personnel are assigned to positions that provide direct services to the public or are directly assisting PSA officers in the provision of services.

Ultimately, one-fourth of all sworn personnel not currently assigned to the patrol districts will be redeployed to the PSA's. This will result in the number of officers assigned to the patrol districts being significantly higher, which means greater visible police presence and more patrol officer time available for preventing crime and disorder.

The department's Narcotics and Special Investigations Division and Criminal Investigations Division have been consolidated into one operational unit. This consolidation allows for greater utilization of our investigative personnel and frees both uniformed and undercover detectives for strategic positioning in the PSA's. As a result, 88 detectives have been reassigned to the seven patrol districts.

As a result of the reassignment of personnel and our consolidation and decentralization efforts, today we have 1,480 officers, detectives and vice investigators assigned to the 83 PSA's. In addition, there are 83 PSA sergeants and 113 sector sergeants who are also assigned to the PSA's for a total of 1,676 sworn members assigned to the PSA's.

This is a significant increase over the number of sworn personnel that were assigned to the antiquated scout car beats that existed just four months ago. The reorganization has also resulted in the assignment of 173 patrol cars to the PSA's whereas under the old scout car system we had 138 assigned to cover the equivalent geographical areas.

In support of the department's New Operating Model and to ensure that the number of members assigned to the PSA's will remain at the established level, I have developed minimum staffing requirements for each of the department's 83 PSA's. This minimum staffing level helps to guarantee that the street-level PSA staffing is given the highest operational priority in each of the seven patrol districts.

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At the same time that we are undertaking a comprehensive reorganization of the patrol districts, we are also moving forward on several other fronts to improve the management and operations of the department. These include:

  • Sworn members of the department were granted a 10 percent pay raise using District of Columbia funds effective July 6, 1997. While the 10 percent pay raise is very helpful, the pay scale still lags behind that of other jurisdictions in the Washington Metropolitan Area.
  • In June and July of this year a one-day New Operating Model orientation session was held for all district personnel. In August, a two-day training session was held for the 83 PSA sergeants. Also, in August the Training Division began conducting two-day training sessions for all PSA team members. The specialized training covers problem-solving, communications skills, and other issues relevant to the implementation of the New Operating Model. This training is in addition to the in-service and specialized training routinely provided to sworn members.
  • The department implemented a random drug testing program on May 15, 1997. Members are selected at random to undergo drug screening. To date, 313 members have been tested; results have been negative for all tests.
  • The department's entry level recruiting standards have been reviewed to ensure adequacy. The standards exceed those required by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
  • The department's recruiting procedures have been revised to require more documentation from applicants and to ensure that the case files are thoroughly reviewed. The Recruiting Unit has been reorganized and a new recruiting campaign begun.
  • Starting on October 1,1997, the Training Division began using a computer-assisted judgmental training program as a part of our recertification program. A computer-assisted training program for domestic violence is also being installed in the seven patrol districts, the Special Operations Division, the Criminal Investigations Division, and the Youth and Family Services Division. This new system will allow us to conduct training off-site, thereby eliminating the need for officers to travel away from their units for needed training.

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The department's Performance-Focused Management System was formally implemented yesterday, Thursday, October 9, 1997. The Performance-Focused Management System is designed to consolidate and focus organizational and individual performance standards under a single, interrelated umbrella, together with overall review and direction by the department's Executive Committee.

The department's Performance Management System for the ranks of officer through lieutenant concluded its pilot rating year on September 30, 1997. The individual performance standards for the 1997-98 rating year have been revised to reflect the New Operating Model and District Policing Strategy. The achievement of specific, department-wide goals will be reflected in the performance ratings for the ranks of captains and above. These ranks will be more focused on the achievement of department and organizational element objectives, rather than the traditional personal performance indicators.

The department is developing a performance plan in order to achieve compliance with the Government Managers Accountability Act. The plan will reflect the department's New Operating Model, District Policing Strategy, and other infrastructure changes. The plan is being developed by the department's consultant, concurrent with specific performance objectives requested by the MOU Partners.

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I have indicated the principal actions taken to date. Each of these actions is having a positive impact, but much work remains to be done. For example: two weeks ago I assigned several experienced sworn and civilian employees to work directly with Booz.Allen & Hamilton project teams on the implementation of the major infrastructure blueprints. In addition, one of the teams will be auditing the New Operating Model to ensure that our changes are becoming institutionalized in the department's patrol districts and other operational elements.

Our overriding objective remains focusing our sworn strength, to the greatest extent possible, in two areas: direct front-line service delivery to the community or investigative and specialized operations which directly support front-line service. Among the tools we are exploring to achieve this objective are: the consolidation of functions, automation of reporting processes, civilianization, and technology enhancements.

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The MOU Partners enable me to move around the roadblocks that were encountered in the past. When the MOU Partners are gathered around the table, you have present the key individuals or chief executives in the criminal justice system. These are the individuals who can move roadblocks affecting the department aside with a single decision.

A perfect example of the MOU Partners at work is the "Case Processing in the Criminal Justice System" project which will be formally presented to the MOU Partners next week. This project looks at the processes and procedures by which a criminal cases is handled from the point of arrest through to arraignment in court. This project has the potential to streamline case processing to the extent that the equivalent of 100 officer man-days will be freed of spending time in court each day. This is the equivalent of putting an entire additional patrol sector of four to six PSA's on the street each day.

Why will this project be a success? Because the MOU Partners include all of the key participants, both direct and indirect, in case processing: the Chief Judge of the Superior Court, the U.S. Attorney, the Corporation Counsel, the D.C. Council, and the Chief of Police. The MOU Partners, working together on this project, will eliminate the roadblocks, streamline procedures, and enact legislation to ensure success.

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The Metropolitan Police Department's organizational culture is undergoing a change after having been stagnant for the last decade. The department's old way to manage and be promoted was simple: maintain the status quo; don't tell; keep things under control; don't rock the boat. Put a band-aid on it and hope it stays on until you are transferred, promoted, or retired.

The department's new organizational culture -- my culture -- is find what we're doing well and improve it; find what we're not doing well and fix it; strive to be the best in class; initiate and sustain positive change. We're not looking for a box of band-aids; we're working for a permanent cure.

The change effort has started in this city with the Metropolitan Police Department. The nine other city agencies just entering the process will experience the same level of problems, challenges, and ultimately, successes.

I am concentrating on the big picture and the overall direction of the Metropolitan Police Department.

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My first year as Chief of Police was spent holding things together. My challenge was to keep the department functioning at a minimum level despite the series financial and manpower reductions. We came through those first 12 months with operations maintained and crime continuing to edge down.

I spent my second year laying the groundwork to provide permanent solutions to department problems, not more band-aids, and working with our consultants. We came through again with a nuts-and-bolts review of the department in hand, a New Operating Model in place, and crime down by significant proportions.

In my third year, I am committed to continuing the department's self-examination and solving the problems we find. I'm not proud to say that so many things appear to be wrong with the department's operations. I am proud to say that we are moving forward to improve what we do well, to correct what we do wrong, to eliminate crime and the fear of crime, and to establish a permanent relationship of respect and trust with the community.

The transformation of the department will help to fulfill two personal goals that I have set. The first is to provide the dedicated men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department with the opportunity to intensify their professional skills and focus their talents on the essence of policing: preventing crime, eliminating disorder, and serving citizens.

My second goal is that in the coming months, every resident of the District of Columbia will be on a first name basis with at least one member of their neighborhood PSA team. The police are a part of the community and are empowered by the community, it is not a matter of us-versus-them. It is a matter of we -- citizens and police -- working together to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and visit our Nation's Capital by eliminating crime, fear of crime, and general disorder, and establishing mutual respect and trust within the community.

In closing, I want to emphasize that the Metropolitan Police Department is well on the road to success, performance has increased, and morale has greatly improved. The transformation which is underway will result in a police department in which all citizens of the District of Columbia can take great pride.

1Part I crime totals for 1997 are preliminary and are not official totals.

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