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Police Complaints Board Issues Report on DC Housing Authority Police Department’s Policies and Procedures

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – The District of Columbia’s Police Complaints Board (PCB), the governing body of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) issued a report to Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Council of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department (DCHAPD) Chief Joel Maupin addressing concerns about the Department’s current policies and procedures.

In January 2017, OPC received a complaint from an individual alleging harassment and language and conduct violations by a DCHAPD officer.  The individual also alleged the DCHAPD officer did not provide his name and badge number when asked to do so.

As a result of this complaint and a few others filed with OPC, the agency reviewed several DCHAPD policies and procedures and found that many of the Department’s policies and procedures have not been updated in almost 20 years.

To that end, PCB recommends the following ways to help improve and facilitate better relations and increase trust between community members and DCHAPD officer:

  • DCHAPD update General Order 402 to reflect identification procedures used by members of the Metropolitan Police Department.
  • DCHAPD should institute a body-worn camera program.  Utilizing the lessons learned from the public process of creating the MPD policy and procedure will significantly reduce the practical problems associated with implementing a BWC program.
  • DCHAPD should bring all policies and procedures up to date.  Once this has been accomplished, DCHAPD should develop a plan to organize and review written directives on a periodic and scheduled basis.  PCB suggests that DCHAPD review all policies and procedures at least every other year, and make revisions when appropriate to keep them current and accurate.

“Just from the few complaints OPC has received regarding DCHAPD officers, we were able to see that there were some things that needed to be addressed,” said Michael G. Tobin, OPC’s executive director.  “And DCHAPD addressing those things can help restore the community’s trust in the Department.

To view a full copy of PCB’s report and sample complaints received by OPC, visit www.policecomplaints.dc.gov.