Senior Executive Director for Corporate Support
Metropolitan Police Department
Eric Coard delivered the following statement to the Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on the Judiciary, the Honorable Kathy Patterson, Chair, on April 21, 2004, at the Council Chamber, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
- Download a printable version of testimony
- Read Chief Ramsey's testimony at the Oversight Hearing on Proposed FY2005 Budget for the Metropolitan Police Department
Madame Chair, members of the Committee, staff and guestsvmy name is Eric Coard, and I am the Metropolitan Police Department+s Senior Executive Director for Corporate Support. In this capacity, I oversee the Department+s facilities management and capital improvement programs. With me today is Phil Graham, the MPD+s Chief Information Officer. On behalf of Chief Ramsey, I appreciate the opportunity to present this opening statement concerning the proposed Capital Budget for the Metropolitan Police Department for fiscal year 2005. The text of my statement is posted on our website, mpdc.dc.gov.
The Department's proposed capital budget for FY05 is approximately $18.6 million dollars. These funds are earmarked for three major initiatives: $5.3 million dollars is allocated for continued renovations of our facilities; $5.2 million dollars is allocated for vehicle purchases from the Master Lease Account; and $8.1 million dollars for critical information technology projects. I will cover each of these three areas very briefly in my testimony today.
The proposed budget for facilities includes money to continue our ongoing facilities renovation projects, as well as funds for the construction of one critically important new facilityva headquarters for our Special Operations Divisionvand the purchase of our Mobile Crime facility, which we currently lease.
As members of the Council know very well, the MPD+s facilities were in a state of crisis six years ago when Chief Ramsey took the helm of our Department. Beyond cosmetic issues resulting from their age, practically all of our facilities had serious fire, life and safety issues that needed immediate attention. These problems were documented in our comprehensive 1999 Facilities Condition Assessment Report. Since that timevthanks to strong support from Congress, the Mayor+s Office, the Council and this Committeevwe have been able to make badly needed, long-overdue improvements to almost every one of our facilities. For example, the Department recently completed a complete renovation of the Central Cellblock in the basement of MPD headquarters. This project involved expanding the capacity of the cellblock from 96 to 120 beds, upgrading the living conditions for the prisoners who are held there, and making other improvements that are making the booking process more efficient and secure.
As you know, we have also been able to open a variety of new, community-based police facilities, including the 4D-1 substationvsoon to be 3D-1 substation, with the PSA restructuringvat the historic Precinct #10 building at 750 Park Road, NW. A little farther north on Georgia Avenue, we also opened our new Regional Operations Command-North facility in the old Petworth Elementary School. As with the 4D-1 substation, the renovation of Petworth Elementary has given new life to a long-time community eyesore, and is helping to rejuvenate another portion of the Georgia Avenue corridor. In addition to the administrative offices of ROC-North, this facility houses elements of our Office of Professional Responsibility, has community rooms for public meetings, and facilities for a Police Boys and Girls Clubhouse. With the PSA restructuring, one of the new 4D PSAs will also operate out of this facility.
Another significant new facility is our state-of-the-art indoor firing range at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Cheltenham, Maryland, which opened last December. This is a joint project with the US Department of the Treasury, US Capitol Police, US Park Police, the MPD and various other federal law enforcement agencies. The facility itself is a 108-point indoor firing range v the largest and one of the most sophisticated in the world. Under the MOU we have signed, the MPD will have a dedicated, 25-point, 50-yard range at this facility for exclusive use by our members. A new, state-of-the-art driver training facility is scheduled to open at Cheltenham late this summer.
Also in the area of training, we recently broke ground on a new structure that will contain six additional classrooms and a badly needed auditorium at the Maurice T. Turner Jr., Institute of Police Science at DC Village in Southwest. Groundbreaking for this project is scheduled for later this month, with completion estimated in the spring of 2005. Other recent renovations at the Training Academy have included the addition of a cafeteria for recruit training and the rehabilitation of our training library.
We are currently in the final year of our six-year capital facilities renovation project. By the end of fiscal year 2004, we will have addressed most of the fire, life and safety issues identified in the 1999 report. The crisis we faced six years ago has been addressed, and the overall condition of our physical plant today is better than it has been in many, many years. The proposed capital budget for FY05 will allow us to continue and maintain the improvements we have already made, and target some additional renovations.
The proposed capital budget for facilities will also support the next phase of the construction of a new Special Operations Division headquarters, to replace the inadequate and aging SOD facility at 23rd and L Streets, NW. As you know, the current SOD facility rests on prime land that the District would like to sell for private development. Overall, MPD will need $18 million dollars over the next three years to complete this project. We are requesting $2 million dollars in FY05, $10 million dollars in FY06, and $6 million dollars in FY07. The MPD has received $4 million dollars in the current fiscal year for land acquisition associated with this project. Working with the Office of Property Management, we have identified a parcel of land in Northeast that is large enough to accommodate both SOD and a new Property Evidence storage facility. OPM is currently working with the Office of the Corporation Counsel on finalizing the negotiations for this acquisition.
The MPD has already set aside approximately $15 million dollars for the Property Evidence storage facility, and since 2001 our Department has been working aggressively on this priority v which is known as the Property Streamlining Project, or PSP. However, the major obstacle we have encountered has been locating District-owned land large enough to accommodate this facility v which needs approximately five-and-a-half acres v or purchasing outright either land or an existing storage facility that could be converted to meet our needs. We are very hopeful that this latest approach v a combined site for both SOD and Property Evidence warehouse v will allow us to move forward. The funding proposed in the FY05 capital budget will be critical to our success.
Finally, in the area of facilities, the proposed FY05 budget includes $2.3 million dollars for the purchase of the Mobile Crime facility on V Street, NE. With this funding, the MPD will exercise a purchase option on our current lease for this building. This facility has allowed our Department to consolidate our Mobile Crime and Crime Scene Search personnel, and it has dramatically increased our storage and space capacity for processing crime scene evidence. The outright purchase of this facility makes financial sense at this time.
Master Lease (Vehicle) Upgrades
The second major area in our proposed FY05 capital budget involves vehicle upgrades. We are requesting a total of $5.2 million dollars to purchase new vehicles through the Master Lease Account. This level of funding will allow our Department to continue our practice of purchasing between 200 and 250 new vehicles each year.
By following this standard, we have been able to keep the average age of our fleet at about 4 years. That compares with an average fleet age of approximately 10 years in the mid- to late-1990s. Keeping our fleet fresh and up-to-date is important for officer safety and morale, and it is cheaper in the long run, as we avoid costly repairs on outdated vehicles.
Information Technology Upgrades
The third and final major area in our proposed FY05 capital budget covers continued information technology upgrades, in particular the ongoing development of what we are calling the Enforcement Services Modernization Program, or ESMP. ESMP is an integrated initiative associated with the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), in its move forward to modernize and streamline District-wide information systems. ESMP is the continuation of the earlier SMART project – or the Strategic Mapping Analysis and Reporting Tool.
ESMP is really a business transformation program that will improve the MPD’s ability to identify, respond to, resolve and prevent crime and disorder incidents. Specifically, this project will allow us to accomplish four critical goals:
- Comply with Federal mandates from the US Department of Justice and the FBI.
- Automate the MPD’s field reporting and core workflow processes.
- Modernize MPD’s computer systems with an integrated technical architecture.
- Enable the MPD to become a regional, national – and possibly even, international – law enforcement collaboration center.
The ESMP initiative includes three main components:
- First, the Personnel Performance Management System (or PPMS) is now folded into the ESMP business transformation program and technical architecture. PPMS is a centralized database system that will track a wide range of information related to MPD employees’ performance, including use of force incidents. This system is a critical part of the Memorandum of Agreement that the MPD signed with the Justice Department on use-of-force issues. As we discussed at the Committee’s recent hearing on our FY05 operating budget, implementation of PPMS began in May 2003, but was halted due to a lack of funding in March 2004. This critically important initiative will rely on the proposed FY05 funding in order to restart activities.
- ESMP also includes National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data encryption. The FBI is requiring data encryption compliance for all wireless and non-wireless NCIC and NLETS (National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System) communications for all law enforcement agencies under MPD’s purview, in our role as the control terminal agency (CTA) for the DC region. NCIC compliance requires that all FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (or CJIS) data transmitted over wireless, dial-up or Internet connections be immediately protected with a minimum 128-bit encryption. This project affects access to NCIC and NLETS data, wireless and non-wireless, by the MPD and its user agencies.
- Finally, ESMP includes an Automated Field Reporting System (ARFS) and Records Management System (RMS). These systems will enable MPD officers to collect crime data and intelligence in an automated fashion while in the field, rather than relying on a computer in a district station or other facility. AFRS will provide MPD personnel with real-time access to criminal information. These systems will not only enhance officer efficiency; they will also support our neighborhood patrols and crime-fighting activities.
The implementation of ESMP has clear benefits for our Department and for the people we serve. ESMP will put us in compliance with the federal requirements of the DOJ and the FBI. Beyond that basic imperative, this program will improve the work environment and efficiency of our employees, by reducing administrative paper processing and integrating information systems and workflow processes. ESMP will improve information availability and dissemination, and it will help us better analyze and respond to crime trends and patterns. And ESMP will provide the tools and information that will improve prioritization and resource management, track performance and improve accountability.
Initial implementation of ESMP will require approximately $16.6 million dollars over the next three fiscal years. For FY05, we are requesting approximately $8.1 million for systems design, hardware and software acquisition, and development and testing.
Thank you again for allowing me to read this statement into the record. CIO Phil Graham and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.