Committee on the Judiciary
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004
Dear Chairman McDuffie,
As you know, I am the chairman of the Fraternal Order of Police Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee (Union), the labor union which represents the approximately 3,400 police officers, detectives and sergeants of the Metropolitan Police Department. I am writing you to voice the Union’s objection to the “Senior Law Enforcement Officer Amendment Act of 2016” in its current form. The Union is opposed to this legislation for the following reasons:
By way of background, it is no secret to you and the City Council that MPD is facing a staffing crisis. By her own admission, in 2011, former Chief Cathy Lanier stated that the city would be in “trouble” when department staffing dips below 3,800 members. MPD is well below this number and retention worsens each month as more and more members retire or seek employment at other law enforcement agencies. The latter is the most troubling.
Retirement is a natural life step and the fruits of retirement are well deserved after 25 or more years of service to this city. Your more serious problem is keeping the non-retiring members with the department. These are your 5, 10, and 15 year members. While we value our retiring members experience and the lessons they can impart on the next generation; we have to maintain the initiatives that will foster the growth of the members we will have for the next 5, 10, and 15 years.
In order to incentivize continued service by our vested members, the Department needs to continue offering paths to promotion and specialized assignments. Policing is not unlike any other profession in that employees need to be shown that career growth is available to people who work hard. Our belief is that this legislation obstructs that path for a majority of our members. By diminishing opportunities for members to be promoted to sergeants, become investigators, or be assigned to specialized units. This legislation negatively impacts an already sagging morale. Removing the historical incentives that our Department has offered our members will do nothing more than increase the number of members leaving MPD for other departments with their eyes on promoting.
In this form the “Senior Law Enforcement Officer Amendment Act of 2016” presents our members with a question:
Would you want to work for an organization that has knowingly taken steps to impede your career growth and advancement?
To which my members will cry “NO.”
Again, our organization respects and values every one of our current and soon to be Senior Police Officers, however, this legislation merely puts a Band-Aid on gushing wound that is the retention issue within our Department. As the head of our Union, I look forward to sitting down with the leadership of the District of Columbia and the City and fine tuning this legislation to not make a troubled situation worse.
I look forward to your review of my member’s concerns. If you require any additional information or have any additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly. Thank you for your consideration.
Fraternal Order of Police
Metropolitan Police Department Labor Committee
Posted October 24 2016 at 12:34 PM by DC Police Union News | Permanent Link