Police Forces in the District of Columbia Can Improve Operations and Save Money

GGD-79-16: Published: Jul 12, 1979. Publicly Released: Jul 13, 1979.

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Four District police forces were reviewed, the Metropolitan Police Department, the U.S. Park Police, the Capitol Police, and the Metro Transit Police. The forces need to improve their patrol practices and certain inefficient and costly practices.

Park and Metropolitan police officers patrol the same areas in some District locations because of overlapping jurisdictions. In addition, because Metropolitan and Park forces each maintain their own photography and fingerprinting facilities, they sometimes unnecessarily repeat identification processing of arrestees. Police officers perform clerical, administrative, technical, and protective duties, which lower cost civilians and guards could do. The forces could save as much as $3.1 million annually if civilians and guards were used instead of sworn officers. Finally, sometimes the police forces buy weapons which are being stockpiled by other forces or purchase items which could have been bought at reduced prices from the General Services Administration (GSA).

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: The District has converted some sworn police positions to civilian and an accomplishment report has been prepared. Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work, and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia; the Secretary of the Interior; the Chairman, Capitol Police Board; and the General Manager, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority should, with respect to police activities, use civilians to replace, when economically advantageous and technically feasible, police officers in administrative support, clerical, and technical positions.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  2. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work, and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should, as appropriate, transfer the police control of small parcels of land such as circles and triangles to the District of Columbia.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  3. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work, and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of the Interior should direct his force to coordinate the photographing and fingerprinting of arrestees with the Metropolitan Police Department.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  4. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work, and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Chairman, Capitol Police Board, should implement a program to use guards instead of police officers where possible.

    Agency Affected: United States Capitol Police

  5. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia; the Secretary of the Interior; the Chairman, Capitol Police Board; and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority should, with respect to police activities, adopt a policy to acquire goods and services from GSA when economically beneficial.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

  6. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Although the recommendation is still valid, GAO must close the case because there is no longer a D.C. audit site staff available to perform followup work, and such a staff is not expected to be available in the future.

    Recommendation: The Mayor, District of Columbia, and the Secretary of the Interior should evaluate the feasibility of authorizing the Metropolitan Police Department the patrol responsibility for federal parks and monument grounds in the District. The evaluation should consider the need to coordinate police efforts during emergencies, demonstrations, parades, and other events.

    Agency Affected: District of Columbia

 

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