Charles Ramsey, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department roducing safer communities.” said he is making major changes to the structure of the department’s organization.
In a speech Tuesday at Howard University Law School, Ramsey said he found numerous problems with MPD upon his arrival five months ago from the Chicago Police Department.
“Above and beyond everything else we have the responsibility to prevent crime,” Ramsey said. “More or less (MPD must) start over and rebuild the department into one that’s capable of providing effective and efficient service to the people.”
He said a lack of infrastructure and accountability in the old system resulted in problems at every level of MPD.
The new structure divides the city into three regional operation command centers – north (where GW is located), central and east. The regions then will be divided into districts and every district will be further divided.
This new structure enhances the MPD’s ability to fight crime by increasing police resources in the community, promoting accountability and common goals throughout the organization and creating the capacity to continuously improve the department, Ramsey said.
“If you don’t feel safe in your community, we haven’t done our job,” he said.
Ramsey said he is recruiting more educated officers and creating more efficient training programs. Only two years of college is required to become a D.C. police officer, but Ramsey said he plans to “raise the bar” by increasing the college requirement to a four-year bachelor’s degree.
At the district meeting, he presented a video he put together to encourage people to become part of MPD. He said the video reflects his “vision of the future, what the organization should look like.”
The slogan of the video is, “be a part of something special,” emphasizing the dedication and pride successful officers need, Ramsey said.
He said community involvement is another essential element for the success of the restructured police department. Ramsey said citizens will be “trained, active participants in producing safer communities.”
“This is the best model I’ve ever seen,” said Assistant Chief of Police Ron Monroe in reference to Ramsey’s new organization of MPD.
This article appeared in the October 1, 1998 issue of the Hatchet.