Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
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|Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia|
Patch of the Metropolitan Police Department the District of Columbia
Seal of the Metropolitan Police Department the District of Columbia
Badge of the Metropolitan Police Department (badge number removed)
Flag of the Metropolitan Police Department the District of Columbia
|Common name||Metropolitan Police Department|
|Abbreviation||MPD or MPDC|
(English: "Justice For All")
|Formed||August 6, 1861|
|Annual budget||Unknown (2015-2016 fiscal year expenditures: $543.4 million)|
|Operations jurisdiction||United States|
|Map of Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia's jurisdiction.|
|Legal jurisdiction||District of Columbia|
|Headquarters||Henry J. Daly Building|
300 Indiana Avenue NW
|Chief of Police responsible|
31 German Shepherds
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), officially the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC), is the law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia, in the United States. With approximately 3,900 officers and 400 civilian staff, it is the sixth-largest municipal police department in the United States. The department serves an area of 68 square miles (180 km2) and a population of 672,228 people.
The Metropolitan Police Department is the primary law enforcement agency forDistrict of Columbia. It is responsible for providing police services to the District such as patrol and criminal investigations, and is also charged with protecting the President and Congress. The District of Columbia is a federal district and subject to the ultimate authority of the U.S. Congress, including the Metropolitan Police. The MPD has a unique role in that it serves as a local police department, with county, state and Federal responsibilities, and is under a municipal government but operates under Federal authority. They are responsible for operating the District's sex offender registry, approving all applications for motorcades, protests, demonstrations and other public events, and maintain the District's firearm registry. The MPD's mission states:
It is the mission of the Metropolitan Police Department to safeguard the District of Columbia and protect its residents and visitors by providing the highest quality of police service with integrity, compassion, and a commitment to innovation that integrates people, technology and progressive business systems.
Under the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, whenever the President of the United States determines that special conditions of an emergency nature exist which require the use of the Metropolitan Police force for Federal purposes, he or she may direct the Mayor to provide, and the Mayor shall provide, such services of the Metropolitan Police force for up to 48 hours. During longer periods of time, the President must provide to Congress in writing his or her reasons for continuing control of the MPD. This control can be extended at any time beyond 30 days if either the emergency continues or if Congress passes a law ordering it.
The MPD is assisted by various federal law enforcement agencies, primarily the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service Uniformed Division, and the U.S. Capitol Police. Under District law, the MPD has a mutual aid agreement with over 32 law enforcement agencies operating within the District. They are also assisted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for evidence collection and task force investigations and they work closely with the U.S. Marshals Service which performs the functions of a county sheriff for the District. The MPD also works with the Metro Transit Police Department which has jurisdiction in the District, Maryland, and Virginia to protect the Washington Metro Transit Authority. The MPD is sometimes incorrectly referred to as the "Metro" Police Department though this is actually the transit police.
As the American Civil War raged on, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln took a personal interest in the formation of a regular police force for the American capital. Washington had quickly filled with soldiers, government employees, and citizens hoping to cash in on the war. The crowds, crime, and the constant threat of enemy spies, had made the capital into a rowdy city barely under control. Formed by an act of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Lincoln on August 6, 1861 the Metropolitan Police replaced the previous two forces, largely viewed as inept: the Washington City police, which was formed by the city council, and the Auxiliary Guard, which was formed by the U.S. Congress, as well as the constables assigned by the U.S. state of Maryland to patrol Washington County. After the formation of the Metropolitan Police Board, which was to govern the new police department, Lincoln sent a member of the board to study the New York City Police Department and its structure, itself modeled on the London Metropolitan Police Service.
The Metropolitan Police Board unanimously chose one of its members, William Benning Webb who was commissioned as a Major in the army, to serve as the first Chief of Police, the formal title being "Major and Superintendent". The Police Board initially divided the District into 10 precincts. The First Precinct constituted the portion of Washington County east of the Anacostia River, while the Second Precinct included the county territory north of Washington City and between the Anacostia and Rock Creek. The Third Precinct comprised the remainder of Washington County west of Rock Creek, including Georgetown and the island of Analostan in the Potomac River. The Fourth through Tenth precincts corresponded respectively with the First through Seventh wards of Washington City. Beginning immediately, Superintendent Webb worked to organize the department which had an authorized strength of ten sergeants and as many patrolmen as needed, though not to exceed 150. The majority of the new department was hired by September with the Superintendent of Police salaried annually at $1,500, sergeants received $600, and patrolmen were paid $480. The officers worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week with no holidays or vacation time. At first officers were issued no uniform or badges and had to purchase their own firearms. The U.S. Capitol building was chosen as the back drop of the MPD badge a month later and today's badge has changed little from the original. The first arrest by an MPD officer was for public intoxication.
At the urging of U.S. Marshal for the District of Columbia Ward Lamon and United States Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, President Lincoln agreed in November 1864 agreed to have bodyguards, though he felt that the President of the United States should not have found it necessary to have guards at all. Superintendent Webb had four MPD officers assigned the task of guarding the White House grounds and accompanying the president on his walks through the city. However Lincoln did not want this fact made public and the officer's orders were not made official and they wore plainclothes with their revolvers concealed. One of the officers, William H. Crook, the most well known of Lincoln's original guards, would go on to serve under five other administrations and wrote down his recollections in a book Through Five Administrations. He became close to Lincoln and accompanied him to Richmond, Virginia at Lincoln's request after the city was captured. Two officers would begin their shift at 8 a.m. till 4 p.m. They were then relieved by an officer who stay till midnight and was then himself relieved at 8 the next morning.
In December 1864, A. C. Richards became Major and Superintendent, a post he would hold through the next 14 years. Richards was present at Ford's Theater the night the President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. In one of the lowest points of the MPD's history, the police officer who was to guard Lincoln that night, John Frederick Parker, had left his post at the door to Lincoln's box, presumably to get a drink at the bar across the street. Officer Crook, who had been on duty that day and had been relieved by Parker who was several hours late for his shift, would place blame in his book on Parker for Lincoln's death.
After Booth had fled the theater, Major Richards, began organizing the activities for investigation until it was taken over by Secretary Stanton. In the hours immediately after the assassination, MPD officers enforced closures of all places of entertainment and helped seal off the city. They patrolled the streets on horses alongside members of the Military Provost. That night on April 14, 1865, an MPD detective entered into the daily blotter: At this hour the melancholy intelligence of the assassination of Mr. Lincoln President of the U.S. at Fords Theatre was brought to this office and the information obtained...goes to show that the assassin is a man named J. Wilks Boothe. It remains the most famous entry in the MPD's records. A tip provided to MPD detectives indicated that the Surratt boarding house at 614 H Street was linked to the assassination. The tip would lead to the eventual trial and execution of Booth's conspirators.
In 1871, the first MPD officer was killed in the line of duty. On Friday, December 29, 1871, Officer Francis M. Doyle and several other officers attempted to gain entry to the house of a thief to recover stolen property. When they forced the door, the wife of the suspected thief fired at them, striking Doyle in the chest and killing him instantly. Although the wife was arrested and tried for the murder, she was acquitted. Officer Doyle was a veteran of the Civil War, having served in the US Navy, and had been with the MPD for five years. He was 38 years old at the time of his death and was survived by his wife and three children. He was buried in Congressional Cemetery.
The MPD also has the unique historical fact of having arrested a sitting U.S. President. During his presidency, Ulysses S. Grant was known to speed in his horse and buggy on Washington's streets. The MPD had issued him three different citations for this offense. On the fourth occasion, President Grant was arrested on M Street for racing and his horse and buggy were confiscated. When brought to the station however, the officers became unsure if a sitting president could be formally charged if he had not been impeached. Grant was allowed to pay a fine but had to walk back to the White House. In 1878, Congress abolished the Metropolitan Police Board and its duties were taken over by the newly formed DC Board of Commissioners, established by Congress to govern the entire District. That year as well, Thomas P. Morgan was named to replace Richards, who had resigned, as Major and Superintendent. Although a police fund had been established during the MPD's first year to assist those officers injured in the line of duty, Morgan would add to this by establishing a retirement fund for older officers who could no longer perform their duties.
On July 2, 1881, the MPD took part in investigating the assassination of President James A. Garfield. The assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, approached Garfield at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station and fired his weapon twice, hitting Garfield. Though Garfield had no bodyguards, MPD Officer Patrick Kearney had been nearby and arrested Guiteau before he could leave the station. Kearney took Guiteau a few blocks away to the station to be booked where the small pistol that Guiteau had used was discovered inside his jacket pocket. The officials at the station at first refused to believe Kearney's claims that Guiteau had shot the president. The detective blotter would note the shooting, investigation, and arrest as well as Garfield's death several weeks later.
In the summer of 1918, Major and Superintendent Raymond W. Pulliam established the Women's Bureau, originally directed by Marion O. Spingarn. The Women's Bureau was created to deal with issues involving juveniles, specifically girls, such as delinquency, investigating casework on juveniles, preventive welfare work to curb criminality in juveniles, and the supervision of movie theatres, dance halls, and similar places. Most of the officers in the Bureau in 1920 were trained as school teachers, nurses, or social workers, and included one lawyer. On October 7, 1918, Mina Van Winkle was appointed a police officer in the Women's Bureau. She was known to be extremely outspoken and was an ardent supporter of protection for girls and other women during the law enforcement and judicial process. In January 1919 Van Winkle became director of the Women's Bureau, a post she held till her death in 1932.
Also in 1919, the MPD established a "School of Instruction" on the third floor of the 7th Precinct. This was the early forerunner to the Training Bureau and today's Metropolitan Police Academy. A group of 22 officers took a 30-day course in the fundamental duties of police officers, the law of arrest, and court procedures. By 1930, an official training school was established. The school expanded the original course work to a three-month period, and brought in outside experts from various fields to instruct.
During Prohibition, the MPD remained active dealing with the organized crime that resulted in DC. During that thirteen-year period, almost 25 officers were killed in the line of duty, mostly due to gunfire and accidents while pursuing rum-runners.
During the Great Depression, over 17,000 veterans of the First World War marched on Washington to demand payment for their service. Known as the Bonus Army, they set up camp in a Hooverville in Anacostia Park. The marchers remained at their campsite waiting for President Herbert Hoover to take action after Congress rejected a bill to pay the veterans. On July 28, 1932, Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the Metropolitan Police to remove the Bonus Army veterans from their camp. When the veterans moved back into it, they rushed two officers trapped on the second floor of a structure. The cornered officers drew their revolvers and shot two veterans, William Hushka and Eric Carlson, who died later. In the aftermath of the shooting, President Hoover ordered the military, under General Douglas MacArthur, to disperse the Bonus Army. Fifty-five veterans were injured and 135 arrested.
In December 1951, Robert V. Murray became Major and Superintendent. He took the command of a demoralized department marred by embarrassments, corruption, and waning public support. During his 13 years as chief, Murray would be credited with making the most sweeping, and longest lasting changes in the MPD's history and is seen as bringing the department into the modern era of policing. One of his first acts was that he would make rounds of the various precincts, inspecting them and the officers where he promised his support. He developed a code of ethics for officers and created a new branch to investigate police corruption, named the Internal Investigations Division—this was a precursor to the Internal Affairs Division. Murray also made good on his promise to improve conditions for his department. By 1952 Murray had petitioned Congress to give his officers a ten percent raise, had turned the six-day work week into a five-day work week, and worked to have two officers per patrol car. He went on to improve the MPD's vehicle fleet, initiated the use of canines, radar, helicopters and experimented with hand held radios.
In 1953 Congress passed the District Government Reorganization Act. It formally abolished the rank and title of Major and Superintendent and replaced it with the position of Chief of Police. Murray would be the last Major and Superintendent and the first Chief of Police of the MPD. Murray's reforms and efforts improved the image of the department which expanded to 3,000 officers. He and the MPD earned public accolades for their handling of the Transit strikes in the hot summers of 1955 and 1956, the March on Washington, and the funeral of President John F. Kennedy. One of his final major acts would be to fully integrate assignments. Specific assignments and beats would no longer be given by only white officers or only black officers. Although it did not eliminate racist tensions and discrimination, it moved the department forward towards racial equality.
The 1968 Washington, D.C. riots in the aftermath of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. were the most devastating to the city. Rioters of over 20,000 quickly overwhelmed the 3,100 member police department. During the four days of violence, the inner part of Washington was devastated in widespread looting and fires, at one point coming within two blocks of the White House. The rioting ended when the National Guard was called out to assist the overwhelmed MPD. 12 people were killed, 1,098 were injured, and over 6,100 were arrested. The resulting economical fallout and crime spike would take many areas decades to recover from. The mobilization of 13,600 federal troops to assist the MPD in putting down the riot was the largest military occupation of an American city since the Civil War.
On September 20, 1974, Officer Gail A. Cobb was shot and killed, becoming the first female U.S. police officer to be shot and killed while patrolling in the line of duty. While on foot patrol, Cobb was tipped off that a suspected bank robber had just fled into a nearby garage. She located the man and instructed him to place his hands on the wall. As she radioed for assistance, the suspect spun around and fired a single shot at point-blank range. The bullet went through her wrist and her police radio and then struck in the chest, killing her.
Officers of the MPD were also present at the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan during which one officer, Thomas Delahanty, was shot. In the late 1980s and early 1990s Washington was hit by the crack epidemic and the homicide rates soared. The District soon became known as the "murder capital" of the nation.
During the 1991 Washington, D.C. riot, the MPD contended with three days of violence by rioters, mostly in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, who were upset in the aftermath of a controversial police shooting which exacerbated strained relationships between the city's Hispanic population and the MPD. The riot was dispersed after a curfew was initiated and over 1,000 riot police descended on the area to enforce the peace.
In 2000, MPD detective Johnny St. Valentine Brown, assigned to the narcotics division, was convicted of perjury after lying about having a degree from Howard University's School of Pharmacy. In the wake of his conviction, many drug offenders with cases involving Brown were retried. In 2001, Brown was charged with contempt after sending the sentencing judge forged letters of support in a bid to gain leniency in his sentencing.
We had just finished up a meeting when my chief of staff came in and told me I needed to go into his office and take a look at what was going on in New York. He had the Today Show on and he was looking at images of the first tower burning, the second tower had not yet been hit. I asked what happened and he said nobody seems to know. A small plane is the way it was described must have flown into the building. Everybody was still kind of not sure if it was an accident, on purpose or whatever and as we were standing there looking we actually saw the second plane strike the second tower, so we immediately knew that that was certainly no accident.
The MPD activated its newly built Joint Operations Command Center (JOCC). Although it had not officially opened yet, September 11, 2001, became its first day of operations. While some equipment had been installed, other devices, such as phones, had not and had to be installed on the fly as emergency personnel arrived to respond. Officials from various agencies and departments including the United States Park Police, United States Capitol Police, the FBI, Secret Service, and the FAA's military district arrived to respond. Around that time, they were notified that The Pentagon had been hit as well. Though the Pentagon was located across the river in Arlington County, Virginia, MPD officers still responded to assist with the emergency response. Additionally, MPD officers working in conjunction with U.S. Park Police officers locked down all Federal buildings along the National Mall, including establishing a perimeter around the White House.
The U.S. Park Police had sent its two helicopters to assist with operations at the Pentagon. Shortly thereafter, the flight control tower at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport was evacuated. Flight control of all airspace over the Washington metro area was turned over to the U.S. Park Police helicopters who coordinated with NORAD. However, needing to assist with evacuating victims, the Park Police requested assistance from MPD. Shortly thereafter, an MPD helicopter arrived and took over command and control of Washington's air space.
That evening, after the majority of the population had returned home and Washington's streets lay empty, Chief Ramsey, his Executive Assistant Chief Terry Gainer, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and Secret Service Director Brian L. Stafford drove around D.C. to check security measures of the locked-down city. While several officers also wanted to assist with efforts in New York, many had to remain in D.C. and the majority of the department worked 12-hour shifts several weeks after the attacks. Ramsey noted that at the time many, himself included, thought that there were more attacks to come.
On January 2, 2007, Cathy L. Lanier took the post of Chief of Police. Lanier, who began her career as a Metropolitan Police patrol officer, became the first female chief of the department. She has been singled out in publications for her community-oriented and technology-driven approach to policing that has helped modernize the MPD and lower crime rates. In 2012 the city attained a lowered homicide rate not seen since 1961.
On September 16, 2013, MPD officers responded to the Washington Navy Yard for an active shooter in Building 197. Two officers were shot during the over-hour-long search and gunfight. The first, Officer Scott Williams, was hit in both legs during an exchange of gunfire with the shooter, Aaron Alexis. The second, Officer Dorian DeSantis, was a member of MPD's Emergency Response Team. Officer DeSantis was with U.S. Park Police officers Andrew Wong and Carl Hiott and had entered an area of cubicles when Alexis engaged them, striking DeSantis in his tactical vest. Uninjured by the gunshot, DeSantis immediately returned fire and killed Alexis. In all, thirteen people were killed and eight others were injured, three from gunfire. Williams and DeSantis were given the Medal of Valor, Medal of Honor and the Blue Badge Medal on February 20, 2014, during a ceremony to honor them and the 170 law enforcement officers, including 57 MPD officers, who responded and entered the building to search for Alexis.
Organization and personnel
MPD is headed by a chief of police (currently Peter Newsham). Other senior leadership includes a chief operating officer, two patrol chiefs (one North and one South), three assistant chiefs (one each for the Investigative Services, Homeland Security, and Internal Affairs bureaus) and two directors (one for the Corporate Support Bureau and one for the Professional Development Bureau). Each of the District's seven districts is led by a district commander. The First, Sixth and Seventh Districts report to Patrol Services South while the Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Districts report to Patrol Services North.
In the five years from 2012 to 2016, MPD has had an average of just under 3,900 sworn members. As of the end of 2016, the department had 3,755 sworn personnel and 603 civilian personnel. Of the sworn personnel, there are 3,017 officers and detectives, 159 recruits, 388 sergeants, 126 lieutenants, 35 captains, and 30 command personnel. Among sworn personnel as of 2015, about 79% were men and 21% were women. As of 2015, about 42% of sworn personnel were black, 36% were white, 8% were Hispanic, and 3% were Asian. The proportion of African American officers has increased over time; in 1968, African Americans constituted 25% of the department's force and in 1970 constituted 35% of the department's force.
The department has a number of specialized units, including the Gun Recovery Unit (GRU), Criminal Interdiction Unit (CIU), and Crime Suppression Teams (CSTs). Other specialized units in the MPD are under the Special Liaison Branch works with various parts of Washington's population. Within the branch are five units: the Asian Liaison Unit (ALU), the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Liaison Unit (DHHU), the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU), the Latino Liaison Unit (LLU), and the La Unidad de Enlace Latino, which collectively have 196 members. Within MPD's Homeland Security Bureau is the Special Operations Division and the Joint Strategic & Tactical Analysis Command Center. Within the Special Operations Division is the Training Unit, Special Tactics Branch, and the Special Events Branch; the latter two units coordinate with the U.S. Secret Service.
Persons who are hired by the MPD spend at least 28 weeks at the Maurice T. Turner Jr., Metropolitan Police Academy receiving basic instructions in police work. They are then assigned to one of the seven Police Districts and are assigned to a Field Training Officer who continues to monitor their progress and training. The entire process lasts through an 18-month probationary period. At the end of the probationary period, officers are certified to patrol on their own, apply to specialized units, and progress through the department's hierarchy.
Since its establishment, 122 MPD officers have died in the line of duty. The most common causes of line-of-duty deaths among MPD officers have been gunfire (61), motorcycle crash (11), automobile crash (9), vehicular assault (7), and accidental gunfire (7).
Equipment and fleet
As of February 2017, the department maintained a fleet of 1,690 vehicles, consisting of 843 marked police cruisers, 390 unmarked police cruisers, 165 marked other vehicles (such as vans, SUVs, trucks, and a command bus), 35 unmarked other vehicles, 139 Honda-Harley scooters, 57 Harley Davidson FLHTPI motorcycles, 17 boats, and 34 miscellaneous vehicles, including forklifts, traffic machines, and trailers.
- "Budget FY2015-2016, Metropolitan Police Department Annual Report 2016" (PDF). Metropolitan Police Department. Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved 1 January 2018.
- MPDC. "Peter Newsham, Chief of Police". DC.GOV. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "MPDC Organizational Chart" (PDF). Metropolitan Police Department. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
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- MPDC. "About MPDC". mpdc.dc.gov. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
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- John P. Deeben (Spring 2008). "To Protect and to Serve: The Records of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, 1861–1930". National Archives. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
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- Peck, Garrett (2015). Walt Whitman in Washington, D.C.: The Civil War and America's Great Poet. Charleston, SC: The History Press. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-1626199736.
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- Raymond W. Pullman, "Annual Report of the Major & Superintendent of the Metropolitan Police," pp. 10-11, 76-81 (1919).
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- New York Times: "Veteran dies of wounds," August 2, 1932, accessed August 30, 2011
- TIME: "Heroes: Battle of Washington," August 8, 1932, accessed August 30, 2011: "Last week William Hushka's Bonus for $528 suddenly became payable in full when a police bullet drilled him dead in the worst public disorder the capital has known in years."
- MPDC. "Robert V. Murray". mpdc.dc.gov. Retrieved 2014-02-10.
- Risen, Clay (2009). "April 5: 'Official Disorder on Top of Civil Disorder'". A Nation on Fire : America in the Wake of the King Assassination. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-17710-5.
- "Police Officer Gail A. Cobb". The Officer Down Memorial Page. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
While walking her beat, she was tipped off that a suspected bank robber had just fled into a nearby garage. Officer Cobb located the man and instructed him to place his hands on the wall. As she radioed for assistance, the suspect spun around and fired a single shot at point-blank range. The bullet went through her wrist and her police radio and then penetrated her heart. She died at the scene.
- Feaver, Douglas. "Three men shot at the side of their President", The Washington Post, March 31, 1981.
- Urbina, Ian (2006-07-13). "Washington Officials Try to Ease Crime Fear". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- Castaneda, Ruben (1991-05-06). "Simmering Tension Between Police, Hispanics Fed Clash". The Washington Post. pp. A1.
- Sanchez, Rene (1991-05-08). "Curfew Leaves Mt. Pleasant Area Quieter". The Washington Post. pp. A1.
- Bill Miller (January 27, 2001). "Ex-Officer Faces Contempt Charge; Former D.C. Detective Falsified Letters, Prosecutors Allege". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03 – via www.corpus-delicti.com.
- "WHITLEY v. UNITED STATES". Findlaw.
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- National Park Service Responding to the September 11 Terrorist Attacks
- MPD Annual Report 2012
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- "DC assistant police chief retires; changes coming to patrol organization". WTOP. April 19, 2017.
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- Special Liaison Branch, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.
- Homeland Security Bureau, Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.
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- MPD General Orders Police Officer Initial Training Program
- MPD General Orders Field Training Program
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- Metropolitan Police Department, Officer Down Memorial Page.
- "Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming a Police Officer". Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia.
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