Logosm.gif (1927 bytes)
navlinks.gif (4688 bytes)
Hruler04.gif (5511 bytes)

Back to Metropolitan Police Department main page

Sergeant Gerald G. Neill, Jr.
Chairman, Fraternal Order of Police, Metropolitan Police Labor Committee before the
City Council Committee on the Judiciary

January 21, 2003




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


DCWatch Archives
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14

Election 1998
Election 2000
Election 2002

Election 2004
Election 2006

Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Campaign Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
City Council
Control Board
Corporation Counsel
DC Agenda
Elections and Ethics
Fire Department
FOI Officers
Inspector General
Housing and Community Dev.
Human Services
Mayor's Office
Mental Health
Motor Vehicles
Neighborhood Action
National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Police Department
Property Management
Public Advocate
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
Taxi Commission
Telephone Directory
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Zoning Commission

Issues in DC Politics

Budget issues
DC Flag
DC General, PBC
Gun issues
Health issues
Housing initiatives
Mayor’s mansion
Public Benefit Corporation
Regional Mobility
Reservation 13
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals


Appleseed Center
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
Parents United
Shaw Coalition



What Is DCWatch?

themail archives

Fraternal Order of Police
Metropolitan Police Labor Committee
1524 Pennsylvania Ave., S.E.
Washington, D.C. 20003
(202) 548-8300 Fax (202) 548-8306

Testimony Of
Sergeant Gerald G. Neill, Jr. Chairman,
Fraternal Order of Police/ Metropolitan Police Labor Committee

The Judiciary Committee of the City Council
The District of Columbia

The Public Oversight Roundtable on Metropolitan Police Department
Performance in Homicide Investigations
January 21, 2003

Chairman Patterson, other Members of the City Council, thank you for this opportunity to testify regarding the performance of the Metropolitan Police Department. I speak on behalf of more than 3,200 sworn police officers, detectives and sergeants who serve this community as members of the Metropolitan Police Department. I have been a D.C. police officer for twenty-four years and take real pride in serving among the men and women I represent.

It is a sad fact of life in communities that the chances of dieing as a result of a homicide are increasing while the chances that your killer will be apprehended, prosecuted and brought to justice are declining. Chief Ramsey promised to make improving the Homicide Closure rate an example of his ability to lead our Department and make our city safer. I believe he should be held to that promise and judged by the results of his leadership in this most important area of law enforcement.

I would urge you and our community to review not the snap shop of the homicide closure rates on a particular day or even quarter, tut rather to review the trend and the continuum of confusion which have become the hallmarks of Chief Ramsey's administration. The record is clear. Chief Ramsey made sweeping and immediate changes in the structure and composition of the Homicide Unit without adequate consideration of the differences between Chicago and the District of Columbia. He didn't familiarize himself with the history of the unit before he ordered it disbanded in favor of a model, which failed to improve our closure rate. In fact, it reduced the

closure rate. Only after repeated exposure of examples of the failure of the decentralized approach he instituted, did he finally agree to recentralize the unit.

Unfortunately, in recentralizing the Homicide Unit he refused to listen to input from the FOP, or detectives with years of experience. I said, upon learning of the structure, resources and operating protocols which Chief Ramsey placed over the newly reconstituted Homicide Unit, that he was programming it for failure.

I wrote to Chief Ramsey regarding some of our concerns in October of last year. I am sorry to report that he failed to take any significant action relating to some of my observations. They include;

1. The present number of vehicles actually available to investigators within the unit does not allow members from two separate shifts to work cases at the same time. That is to say that day work officers who receive a case at the beginning of their tour cannot leave the office and begin to process the case until midnight officers return from their assignments. As you may know, the faster Homicide detectives arrive at the crime scene, the greater the chance for closing the case.

2. The squads within the Homicide Unit need 12 more detectives to meet and manage the current caseload in an effective and professional manner.

Since my letter of last October, members of the Homicide Unit have been transferred for lack of productivity. The Chief has refused to explain to any of the transferred Detectives, how they were selected. He clearly has not looked at the records and caseloads of the Detectives he chose to humiliate. If he had, he would have discovered that several of them have exemplary records with closure rate that have historically exceeded the average of their peers. One of the Wen he transferred was assigned to the Cold Case Squad because of his demonstrated excellence.

Cold Cases are the hardest cases to close. The Detective in questions had several old cases in the Grand Jury where he was working prosecutors to indict the people responsible. Every Homicide investigation takes extraordinary effort, dedication and resources. These cases take even more work than those that are solved within days or weeks of their commission, as witnesses become disinterested, hard to locate or even fearful as the perpetrator of the crime still walks the streets.

I am here to report to you and to our community that Chief Ramsey's cavalier approach to the police offcers of the Metropolitan Police Department has stripped them of self-confidence and destroyed their morale. The Homicide Unit is just one unfortunate example of a Department, which feels betrayed by its Chief. You police officers cannot be effective, if they do not feel they are supported -by their Chief, the Mayor or their community. If they are not supported how can we expect them to risk their lives and their jobs in the face of criminals. Many of us feel that we have become the subject of ridicule, mistrust and malicious prosecution within the Metropolitan Police Department. Unfortunately, their reluctance to get involved in their duties under these circumstances is beginning to show.

Homicide as a case in point, demonstrated that the Chief would rather publicly ridicule a hand full of detectives than provide the resources they need to do their work. If you are serious about increasing the closure rate, you should double the number of detectives assigned to the Homicide Unit and provide them adequate resources to investigate and close cases without fear of cheap shots from their Chief.

The Union has mailed out more than three thousand surveys to the men and women of the Metropolitan Police Department. We are asking them to assess themselves, our Department and Chief Ramsey. The results of that survey will be made public within a few weeks as we get our members' responses and tabulate the results.

I hope this is useful. I invite your questions.

Back to top of page

Send mail with questions or comments to webmaster@dcwatch.com
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)