News & Information


June 13, 2008:

The Office of the Independent Monitor issued its Final Report for the Metropolitan Police Department

Click to read the Report.

Background of the Independent Monitor

On June 13, 2001, the District of Columbia (“the City”), the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to minimize the risk of excessive use of force, to promote the use of best available practices and procedures for police management, and to build upon recent improvements MPD had initiated to manage use of force issues. On April 9, 2002, it was announced that DOJ and MPD jointly had selected my team — comprised of attorneys from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers, and several nationally recognized policing experts with extensive experience in all aspects of local law enforcement — as Independent Monitor to review and report on MPD's implementation of, and assist with MPD's compliance with the MOA.

The monitoring assignment involves trying to help the MPD achieve positive change in the way it deals with the use of force by its officers and related issues, such as handling allegations of misconduct against officers and ensuring that the MPD adopts management practices designed to encourage appropriate behavior and discourage (and, where appropriate, punish) unacceptable behavior. Our role as monitor requires us to review and report the MPD's compliance with an MOA designed to ensure accountability with respect to these issues. We do so with a healthy respect for the critical role played by the MPD in the life of the Washington, D.C. community, and with an appreciation for the risks taken by MPD officers every day. Through the creation of new programs, policies, and practices, the MOA is intended to foster more effective law enforcement and, in the process, promote deserved citizen respect for MPD.

Monitoring Activities

We have created this web site to ensure that our monitoring activities remain as open to the public as possible considering the requirements of the MOA. Here you will find our official monitoring reports, biographies of monitoring team members, and links to city agencies with an official role in D.C. law enforcement. You also will find resources that will be of interest to other monitors in other cities. My hope is that this site ultimately will collect a wealth of information for those individuals and entities involved in monitoring police departments across the country.

The Office of the Independent Monitor (OIM) is now in its fourth year of monitoring compliance by the District of Columbia and the MPD with the Memorandum of Agreement.  We have issued fourteen quarterly reports detailing the levels of compliance and implementation of the MOA.  The parties have agreed to specific standards for measuring substantial compliance with each of the substantive provisions of the MOA, as well a broader subjective assessment by the OIM.  We will continue to monitor and issue quarterly reports on the City’s and MPD’s compliance with the MOA to ensure that substantial compliance is maintained continuously for two years, as required by paragraph 182 of the MOA.

Compliance Assessment

MPD and the City have entered their second year of the “substantial compliance” assessment phase of our monitoring under the MOA.  MPD and the City continue to make progress in implementing the MOA’s reforms, but the progress in many areas has been slow.  Substantial compliance has been achieved in important categories such as the development of revised use of force policies, investigations of serious use of force incidents, the use of oleoresin capsicum (“OC”) spray, and the canine program.  MPD and the city also have made significant improvements, particularly in recent quarters, in the areas of review and investigation of use of force incidents.  These are important accomplishments, but much work remains to be done for MPD and the City to achieve and maintain substantial compliance across the entire MOA. 

Please do not hesitate to contact the Office of the Independent Monitor if you have any questions that are not answered by the material posted on this site.

Michael R. Bromwich
Independent Monitor
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Please Note: This site is not maintained by the Metropolitan Police Department or any other agency of the District of Columbia. The Office of the Independent Monitor ("OIM") is not an agency of the District of Columbia. The OIM is not authorized to accept citizen complaints regarding alleged officer misconduct. Misconduct complaints filed with the OIM will not be investigated. Citizens seeking to file a complaint against an MPD officer should visit the Office of Citizen Complaint Review ("OCCR") web site or contact their local MPD police station.