Ramsey Shuffles Police Department: His Demotions Include Proctor, Who Turned in Her Badge
Keary, Jim, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey yesterday announced the appointment of 23 officials and the demotions of four, including Assistant Chief Sonya T. Proctor, who had served as acting chief before he took the job.
Chief Ramsey, who announced the sweeping changes within the hierarchy of the demoralized Metropolitan Police Department during a press conference, said the personnel changes were necessary to begin restructuring the department under a plan that he initially outlined last week. The new plan abolishes most investigative details and divides the city into three Regional Operations Commands, which are called ROCs.
"We are in a period of transition now. The assistant chiefs will be taking on the responsibilities and putting the flesh on the bones of our new strategy that will be in operation in October," Chief Ramsey said, as he stood outside of the First District station on Fourth Street SW with the officials who will run the department with him.
"There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are putting ourselves in a position to roll up our sleeves to get started," the chief said.
The most visibly absent from the chief's press conference were Chief Proctor and Assistant Chief Rodney Monroe. The Washington Times first reported yesterday that Chief Ramsey told Chief Proctor and Chief Monroe about their demotions on Wednesday.
Chief Proctor, who had served as commander of the Human Resources Bureau, decided yesterday morning to retire rather than accept the demotion to commander of the Operations Command unit. Chief Monroe accepted the demotion to commander of the Sixth District in the eastern part of the city.
Sources inside the department said Chief Monroe was put in charge of commanding a district to give him experience supervising patrol units and the investigation units under him, including the Homicide Division.
Chief Proctor was demoted because of turmoil in the training and recruitment divisions, which she commanded, and her resistance to changes, according to sources in the department. Chief Proctor yesterday denied she had resisted any changes.
Chief Proctor, 44, whose retirement is effective Saturday, said she held no animosity toward Chief Ramsey. She said it was time for her to get away and enjoy life a little more. Chief Proctor became the first woman to head the police department when Chief Larry D. Soulsby resigned Nov. 25 because of his ties to police officials charged with embezzlement and extortion.
"I think I want to go fishing. I haven't been fishing in a long time," Chief Proctor said. "I feel very good. I feel I've done the right thing."
She said she had already planned to take a cruise at the end of the month and she won't make any decisions about her future until she returns.
Two other persons who were promoted under Chief Proctor were also demoted in Chief Ramsey's reorganization plan. Cmdr. Ross Swope, who was named by Chief Proctor to head the Homicide Division, and Cmdr. Stanly Wigenton, who was promoted to commander of the 6th District, were both demoted to inspectors in the operations command unit.
Carl Rowan Jr., a Capitol Hill attorney and constant critic of the department's management, said yesterday that some of the people Chief Ramsey promoted were among the "deadwood" that caused chaos in the department.
"The chief now has the model and the team he wants," Mr. Rowan said. "All I can say is if I had my reputation resting on the skills of some of these folks he's relying on, I'd have a hard time sleeping at night."
"I hope he proves me wrong. I hope he succeeds as well as anyone," Mr. Rowan said.
Many of the officials Chief Ramsey promoted are better educated than the command staffs of past police chiefs. Three of the five assistant chiefs hold master's degrees and another is working toward a master's degree. …