Charles H. Ramsey
Chief of Police
Metropolitan Police Department
Chief Charles H. Ramsey delivered the following statement to the Council of the District of Columbia, Committee on the Judiciary, The Honorable Phil Mendelson, Chair, and the Committee on Government Operations, The Honorable Vincent Orange, Chair, on October 21, 2005, at the Council Chamber, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC.
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Chairpersons Mendelson and Orange, members of the Committees and the Council, staff and guests – thank you for the opportunity to present this opening statement concerning the transfer of the Protective Services Division to the Metropolitan Police Department. For the benefit of the audience watching on Channel 13 and others, my testimony is posted on the Police Department’s website: mpdc.dc.gov
The Metropolitan Police Department looks forward to the integration of the Protective Services Division into our agency, and we certainly welcome the PSD and its employees to our Department and our family. The PSD is already a well-managed and professional organization that I believe will be even more effective and even better positioned to carry out its mission, once it is integrated with the MPD.
The details of the integration are contained in the Reorganization Plan that our Department has submitted to the Mayor’s Office. I will not rehash the specifics here today. Assistant Chief Gerald Wilson is with me, and he can assist in answering any detailed questions you may have.
Under the Reorganization Plan, Protective Services will become part of the MPD’s Office of Security Services, which Assistant Chief Wilson now leads. As you know, this Office is currently overseeing the school security function, for which the MPD acquired management responsibility earlier this year. The Office’s success in effectively transitioning school security, including management of the private security contract, will certainly be valuable as we plan for and execute the transition of Protective Services. Chief Wilson is an experienced and very talented law enforcement executive who we actually recruited from the PSD. He understands their mission and their operations. He is aware of, and sensitive to, their needs. And, along with current PSD Chief Arnold Bracy, I am confident that Chief Wilson will provide the leadership needed to oversee the transition and to move the PSD forward.
Our goal is nothing short of making Protective Services the most professional, most advanced and most effective government protection agency possible. Achieving this goal is critically important in today’s environment. The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, demonstrated something that we have known for some time: government facilities are prime targets for terrorists, both foreign and domestic. Protecting our government infrastructure is a challenge for every city in the United States. But in the District of Columbia, the risks are even higher and the challenges even greater. And this is true not just for federal facilities (which seem to get most of the public’s attention), but also for our local, DC government infrastructure as well. A strike against this very building – the seat of local government in our Nation’s Capital – would constitute a bold statement by terrorists. And we must do everything in our power to prevent that from happening here at the Wilson Building, or at any facility that the PSD protects.