Charles H. Ramsey
Chief of Police
Metropolitan Police Department
Chief Charles H. Ramsey delivered the following statement to the US House of Representatives, Committee on Government Reform, the Honorable Tom Davis, Chairman, on May 20, 2005, at the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2154, Washington, DC.
- Download* a printable version of the testimony
Mister Chairman, Congresswoman Norton, other members of the Committee, staff and guests … thank you for the opportunity to present this testimony on a topic of vital importance to the District of Columbia, to our young people and their families – indeed, to our entire city and its future. That topic is the safety of our public schools.
Mayor Anthony Williams, City Administrator Robert Bobb and other members of the District government are to be applauded for their commitment and leadership on the issues of juvenile crime and school safety. The Mayor, in particular, has worked hard to raise awareness of the issue, to develop programs that are supported by budgeted funds, to pursue legislation that assists the police in our enforcement and intervention efforts, and to insist that all agencies involved in the safety of our young people are working together and in a coordinated manner.
Today’s hearing comes at a critically important time in the District’s ongoing efforts to enhance the safety of our schools. Recent legislation passed by the DC Council and signed by the Mayor transfers management responsibility for school safety from the DC Public Schools to the MPD, effective July 1. Under this transfer of responsibility, the District will continue to use contract security personnel, along with MPD School Resource Officers, to provide safety services in our schools. What is changing is that the MPD will now oversee management of the security contract and performance of the private security personnel in the schools.
The results, we believe, will be a better-trained, higher-quality school safety workforce; greater coordination among private security, MPD personnel, and school staff; and, ultimately, safer schools for our students, faculty, staff and parents. Of course, with this new responsibility also come the expectation and the opportunity for the police and the schools to work more closely on a range of issues that impact the safety of our young people, in the schools and in the community. The MPD stands ready to meet those expectations and take advantage of those opportunities.