Washington, D.C., Mayor Anthony A. Williams is seeking public support for a plan to add millions of dollars and 175 officers to his police department in a time of tight budgets, the Washington Post reports. Williams made a campaign-style neighborhood appearance yesterday to plug for his proposal. Williams wants to boost the force to 3,800 from 3,625. It would be the highest level in at least five years. At a budget hearing tomorrow, the Williams administration will seek $11.6 million to pay new officers.
Kathy Patterson, chair of the City Council’s Judiciary Committee, favors a 25-officer increase and said that the department — already the largest per capita of any major city — should fix mismanagement problems first. Critics note that about 10 percent of the force is paid, but not working, because of long-term sick leave or disability. Police Chief Charles Ramsey, whose contract is up for renewal, estimated that up to 20 percent of officers on extended leave are abusing the system. He vows to root them out.