Two Consultants May Do Review of City Police Force

Article excerpt

The job of performing a top-to-bottom review of D.C. police will "more than likely" be split between two consultants - a McLean management firm and a man who is credited with turning around the New York City police department.

The study, expected to cost between $200,000 and $300,000, will review the D.C. department's command structure, finances, personnel and procurement practices.

City government sources yesterday said the job will probably be shared by Booz-Allen & Hamilton Inc., which recently studied Chicago's police force, and First Security Consulting Inc., led by former New York Police Commissioner William Bratton.

"More than likely, the duties and responsibilities are going to be shared," the source said. "More than one entity is going to be involved."

The city's top political and law enforcement officials this week signed a five-page memorandum of understanding in which they agreed to the outside review and promised to hire the consultant within 20 days.

"We have too many murders, too many assaults, too many robberies, too many open-air drug markets," Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday at a news conference announcing the study. "This department is one of the finest in the nation, but every agency ought to re-examine itself."

The mayor emphasized that the review is not an indictment of the department or of Chief Larry Soulsby, who also signed the memorandum.

"If the pope were the chief of police, we would do this too," said Mr. Barry, adding that the study would not focus on Chief Soulsby's performance.

D.C. financial control board Vice Chairman Stephen Harlan said he agreed with the mayor, but he refused to rule out the possibility that the chief would come under scrutiny.

"Everything is going to be on the table," said Mr. Harlan, who oversees law enforcement for the board. "If there's some blockage somewhere, the consultant will put an end to it."

The total cost of the contract is not clear, but the control board has agreed to foot the entire bill. …