This is why Washington, DC will never fix its crime problem. The same day a crime emergency is declared, the city council votes to give the police chief a 33% increase in his pension.
Mind you, the police chief already got a massive raise a few years back, increasing his salary from $150,000 a year to $175,000 (at the time, Ramsey argued that $150,000 a year just wasn't enough to put his kids through high school).
In other business, the council voted 10 to 3 to give initial approval to Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey to receive an additional $16,000 annually toward his pension, which bumps him from $44,000 a year to $60,000.Putting aside the pension "promise," which is utter garbage since nowhere in Ramsey's contract did anyone agree to this pension increase (so why is he getting it, because he's done such a great job?), how in Lord's name does the city council vote to give the man a 33% windfall to his pension the same day the city declares a crime emergency? How, because DC is the city that doesn't work, that's how.
Mendelson, who heads the council judiciary committee, said the council had a "moral obligation or good faith obligation" to grant Ramsey the increased pension package because of a promise made by the federally imposed Control Board in place when he was hired in 1998.
The city was supposed to give him a pension package that would be similar to one he would have received if he had not left his 30-year career with the Chicago police department, according to a committee report.
Catania said he did not understand why the council was renegotiating a written contract that did not include an increase in Ramsey's pension. Catania, Adrian M. Fenty (D-Ward 4) and Patterson were the dissenters.
And while the city council was voting to give the police chief thousands more a year, violence continued to break out across our city.
Late last night, six people were robbed on the Mall in two separate incidents, U.S. Park Police said. In one of the incidents, a woman also was sexually assaulted, police said.We have had a crime problem for years. The same city officials who claim that they're now very concerned about crime in DC are the same city officials who have been saying the same thing for years, to no effect. A few years back, they denied that we had a problem with our 911 emergency phone system, even after a young man died because of a house fire at Dupont Circle. I had to dig up the witnesses myself, and with the help of a dogged city council member, Phil Mendelson, and his dogged staffer Alec Evans, we were able to prove that the 911 office helped kill this poor kid. But it took us months, and all the while the mayor and the police chief basically told everybody we were nuts. And that is only one of many public safety problems we uncovered - all of which followed the same pattern, first they denied the problem existed, then when we proved it existed, but in the end, they still never fixed the problems.
While it's nice (some would say cute) that the chief of police and the mayor, yet again, are claiming they're very concerned about DC's crime problem, this is what they've been saying for years. And they never do a damn thing about it. They know what the problems are. It's abuse of police overtime. It's not enough cops on the streets (no, I didn't say not enough cops, they have enough cops, just not enough on the streets - read on). It's insane abuse and waste such as cops earning 3 times their salary in overtime! The problems have been documented over and over and over again. But the chief and the mayor like to tell us we just don't have enough cops. Really? We have the largest number of police per capita of any city in America - at least we did a few years ago, and I don't think it's changed. That's hardly "not enough cops."
The trouble with DC is that we have a mayor and a police chief who simply deny the problems exist when the evidence is put in front of their faces, and a city council that pays lip service to the public's concerns, but still, more often than not, isn't ready for prime time.