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Chief Responds To Increase in Violent Crime

Friday, December 2, 2005

Chief Responds To Increase in Violent Crime

Suspension of collective bargaining agreement gives police commanders more flexibility in combating crime

Chief of Police Charles H. Ramsey today announced that the scheduling provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Metropolitan Police Department and Fraternal Order of Police will be suspended, effective at midnight on Saturday, December 3, 2005.  The temporary suspension of the agreement will allow commanding officers to change an officer?s tour of duty, days off or extend work hours without prior notice. Normally, commanding officers must given officers a 14-day notice before changing their schedules. In addition, leave for Department members will be restricted until further notice.

The suspension of the agreement is being implemented to combat a recent increase in certain serious crimes. In the past 32 days, the District has experienced 24 homicides and 364 robberies. The suspension will allow commanders the flexibility to change tours of duty and days off to quickly respond to changing crime trends in DC neighborhoods.  An emphasis will be placed on homicides, assaults with deadly weapons, robberies and weapond violations.

Chief Ramsey noted that he is very proud of his officers' work over the past year.  "Our members have done an outstanding job in combating crime and demonstrating their commitment to the citizens they serve.  However, crime trends can change rapidly, and we must be able to quickly make changes to combat those trends," he said.

Despite the recent increases in homicides and robberies, preliminary statistics indicate that, with the exception of a 6 percent increase in robberies, all other categories of serious crimes have decreased during 2005.  Overall crime is presently down by 7 percent this year, when compared to the same period of 2004. Preliminary crime statistics through November are available on the MPDC website.