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Metropolitan Police Department Implements Proposals Made by Police Complaints Board

Friday, March 28, 2008

(Washington, DC) The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has recently taken several steps to implement proposals for police reform made by the Police Complaints Board (PCB), the governing body of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC).

To date, PCB has issued a total of 14 reports and sets of recommendations to the Mayor, the Council of the District of Columbia, and MPD’s Chief of Police. 

MPD has adopted a significant proportion of the recommendations contained in all of PCB’s reports, and has acted upon the following reports in recent months:  “Drivers and Cellular Telephones:  Increasing Public Awareness of District Law;” “Medical Treatment for Arrestees;” “Addressing Biased Policing in Washington, DC: Next Steps;” and “Police Service to Disabled Persons Who Use Service Animals.”

MPD worked with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to increase public awareness of the District’s cell phone law following PCB’s proposals in this area.  As recommended by PCB, DDOT has included information on electronic message boards throughout the city informing drivers of the law.  In addition, MPD and DDOT created information cards detailing the requirements of the Distracted Driving Safety Act of 2004 and printed 70,000 copies that were distributed citywide by MPD officers.  Also, MPD continues to provide training to its officers on enforcing and following the District’s cell phone law.

“We are pleased with the steps MPD and other city agencies have taken to implement PCB’s recommendations,” said Philip K. Eure, OPC’s executive director.  “Our aim is to address issues we identify through the course of our work, and these actions by MPD, DDOT, and other city agencies are critical to achieving that goal.”

In PCB’s “Medical Treatment for Arrestees” policy recommendation, the Board proposed that MPD provide enhanced training to its officers on this issue.  MPD reported that this topic was addressed in the October 2007 roll call training and as part of the training for new recruits in December 2007. 

Chief Cathy L. Lanier reconstituted MPD’s Biased Policing Task Force last spring in response to PCB’s recommendation to reconvene and expand the Task Force to continue its work promoting fair policing in the District.
During March 2008 roll call training, the department provided information and showed a video to its officers on handling requests for police service that involve service animals.  In its “Police Service to Disabled Persons Who Use Service Animals” report, the Board discussed a video produced by the California Hotel and Lodging Association titled, “Responding to Service Animal Calls,” that was used by the San Francisco Police Department to convey to officers information about compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act in situations involving disabled persons who use service animals.  MPD used this video as part of its training.

For copies of the PCB’s full reports and recommendations or additional information about the agency, please visit OPC’s website at the link below: