End of the road for D.C. police chief

It seems D.C.’s police chief will be gone in the very near future. Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey has long been known to have a less-than-amicable relationship with Mayor-Elect Adrian Fenty, and his departure has long been rumored.

Ramsey leaves behind a mixed legacy. His eight-year tenure is far longer than most major city police chiefs, and he leaves behind a city with a crime rate far less than what it was when he first took over in 1998. As de facto head of security for much of the city’s federal buildings and officials, he has also been praised for his post-9/11 leadership.

On the other hand, crime remains a huge issue in the city, and Ramsey has his fair share of critics. For many D.C. residents, every burglary, every assault, every murder in the city rests on his shoulder. Why should he receive the ultimate blame every time Georgetown students gets a DPS email regarding the latest mugging in the neighborhood? Or for this summer’s crime spike that resulted in the brutal murder of a British political activist in the Georgeown neighborhood?

On the other other hand, that Ramsey used that murder as the impetus for the crime emergency that, while controversial, led to a noticable decrease in criminal activity.

For all his criticism of the police chief and the mayor’s oversight of the MPD, Fenty must now prove he can do better. Let’s hope he can find a police chief who can fill Ramsey’s large shoes, and finally end the District’s reputation as “America’s Murder Capital.”

Posted by Marco Cerna, Contributing Editor

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