- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 13, 2003

D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey will sign a contract extension with a substantial pay raise in the coming weeks, despite residents' concerns about the District's escalating homicide rate and a lack of officers patrolling city streets.
Margret Nedelkoff Kellems, the deputy mayor, told The Washington Times on Monday that Mayor Anthony A. Williams and Chief Ramsey had met in late December and "reached a fundamental understanding on virtually all issues" regarding a contract extension.
Chief Ramsey, whose five-year contract is set to expire in April, currently makes $138,000 a year. WUSA-TV (Channel 9) reported last week that a pay raise for Chief Ramsey could be as much as $40,000.
Mrs. Kellems would not confirm that, but said Chief Ramsey hasn't had a pay raise since he joined the force in 1998 and would get a raise that would bring his salary in line with agency heads of similar duties and responsibilities.
Montgomery County Police Chief Charles A. Moose earns $160,000 a year, Prince George's County Police Chief Gerald Wilson's salary is $118,000 though former Chief John Farrell made $144,000 and Fairfax County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger makes $110,000.
Mrs. Kellems said the contract extension would keep Chief Ramsey in the city through January 2007 when the mayor's term expires.
She said Chief Ramsey requested time to have the contract reviewed, and they expect the process to be completed "within the next couple weeks."
"The mayor is going to sign it, the chief is going to sign it," she said.
Although the homicide rate is up 20 percent this year over last year when it reached its highest level since Chief Ramsey took office and detectives have made only marginal improvements in solving murder cases, Mrs. Kellems said Mr. Williams never considered replacing the chief.
Chief Ramsey did not respond to an interview request.
D.C. Council member Kathy Patterson, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the police department, said the council would have to approve the pay raise, since the chief's last contract was negotiated with the D.C. financial control board.
"I would recommend to the mayor that he improve the visibility of police on the streets before he comes back to the council for a pay raise" for Chief Ramsey, said Mrs. Patterson, Ward 3 Democrat.
D.C. Council member Adrian Fenty, Ward 4 Democrat, said he would be opposed to any pay raise for Chief Ramsey.
"I think it would be the wrong message right now to give the chief a pay raise," Mr. Fenty said. "There's no way in the world you could say the residents think a pay raise is in order. That's the type of thing that would further erode the confidence of my constituents."
D.C. Council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said his constituents are expressing frustration with the "quality and quantity of police work in the District of Columbia." He said he believes Chief Ramsey is the right man for the job and that he is not against a pay raise for the chief, but that he wants to see a greater dedication to community policing.
"I think this chief has what it takes," Mr. Graham said. "Chief Ramsey can provide the leadership we need, but I want to see it happen."

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