Charles Ramsey, who leaves today after 8 years as police chief in Washington, D.C., gets mixed reviews, the Washington Post reports. Under his watch, crime has dropped, standards have become tighter and the public has received access to more public safety information, due in part to a Web site that charts robberies, burglaries and other offenses by the block. The Post calls Ramsey “a master of the sound bite” who “often spouted off about crimes and railed about topics that were beyond his control, including irresponsible parents and failing schools.”
Critics view him as a showboat. Many residents don’t see enough officers on patrol and say crimes are not investigated quickly or thoroughly. Police morale is low, with officers saying Ramsey overworked them by declaring crime emergencies that took away days off and lasted for months. “I think he gets an A for public relations, but for actual substance, I think he gets a D,” said Ronald E. Hampton of National Black Police Association and a former D.C. officer. Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty thinks that new Chief Cathy Lanier, 39, will bring new vigor and ideas to the force.