*NOTE: This section includes amendments by emergency legislation that will expire on October 27, 2021. To view the text of this section after the expiration of all emergency and temporary legislation affecting this section, click this link: Permanent Version.*
(a) The Board shall establish minimum application and appointment criteria for the Metropolitan Police Department that include the following:
(1) That an applicant be a citizen of the United States at the time of application;
(2) Age limits;
(3) Height and weight guidelines;
(4) Physical fitness and health standards;
(5) Psychological fitness and health standards;
(6) The completion of a criminal background investigation;
(7) The consideration to be placed on an applicant’s participation in court-ordered community supervision or probation for any criminal offense at any time from application through appointment;
(8) The consideration to be placed on an applicant’s criminal history, including juvenile records;
(9) The completion of a background investigation;
(9A) If the applicant has prior service with another law enforcement or public safety agency in the District or another jurisdiction, information on any alleged or sustained misconduct or discipline imposed by that law enforcement or public safety agency;
(10) Military discharge classification information; and
(11) Information on prior service with the Metropolitan Police Department.
(b) Notwithstanding the minimum standards established by the Board in accordance with subsection (a) of this section, the Chief of Police may deny employment to any applicant based upon conduct occurring while the applicant was a minor if, considering the totality of the circumstances, the Chief of Police determines that the applicant has not displayed the good moral character or integrity necessary to perform the duties of a sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department.
(c) Each applicant selected for appointment as a sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department shall successfully complete an initial training program and initial firearms training program before deployment, including minimum requirements developed by the Board, unless the applicant receives a waiver pursuant to subsection (e) of this section.
(d) The Board shall determine minimum requirements for the initial training program and initial firearms training program for Metropolitan Police Department recruits, including the appropriate sequence, content, and duration of each program, and:
(1) The minimum number of hours required;
(2) If and under what circumstances the initial training program will include temporary deployment of the applicant before regular deployment as a sworn member; and
(3) The subjects to be included as part of every applicant’s initial training.
(e) The Chief of Police may modify or waive the initial training program and initial firearms training program requirements for either of the following:
(1) Any applicant who is a former sworn member of the Metropolitan Police Department who has been separated from employment with the Metropolitan Police Department for less than 3 years; or
(2) Any former member of a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency who has completed training similar to the Metropolitan Police Department’s initial training program and initial firearms training program and who has been separated from employment with a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency for less than 3 years.
(f) The Board shall determine minimum requirements for a continuing education program for sworn members of the Metropolitan Police Department, including:
(1) Requirements for a continuing education firearms training program; and
(2) The appropriate consequence, including ineligibility for promotion, if a member fails to satisfy the continuing education requirement.
(g) The Metropolitan Police Department may utilize the services of other law enforcement agencies or organizations engaged in the education and training of law enforcement personnel to satisfy any portion of the initial training program, the initial firearms training program, or the continuing education program pursuant to this section.
(h) The Board shall establish the minimum requirements for any instructor of any component of the Metropolitan Police Department’s initial training program, continuing education program, or firearms training program.
(i) The Board shall establish minimum selection and training standards for members of the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department.
(j) The Board shall also review and make recommendations to the Chief of Police, the Mayor, and the Council, regarding:
(1) The Metropolitan Police Department’s tuition assistance program;
(2) The optimal probationary period for new members of the Metropolitan Police Department pursuant to subsection (q) of this section;
(3) The issue of creating separate career tracks for patrol and investigations;
(4) Minimum standards for continued level of physical fitness for sworn members of the Metropolitan Police Department; and
(5) The Metropolitan Police Department Reserve Corps program’s training and standards.
(k) The minimum standards set by the Board pursuant to subsections (a), (d), (f), and (h) of this section shall not preclude the Metropolitan Police Department from establishing higher standards, including standards regarding its application, initial training, and continuing education programs at the department.
(l) The minimum standards set by the Board pursuant to subsection (i) of this section shall not preclude the District of Columbia Housing Authority Police Department from establishing higher standards.
(m) Not later than December 31 of each calendar year, the Board, through the Chief of Police, shall deliver a report to the Mayor and the Council concerning the Metropolitan Police Department’s initial training program, continuing education program, and firearms training program. The report shall include:
(1) The number of:
(A) Applicants who have successfully completed the application process;
(B) Applicants who have completed the initial training program;
(C) Sworn members who have completed the continuing education and firearms training programs;
(2) An assessment of the Metropolitan Police Department’s compliance with the Board’s prescribed minimum standards for each of its application and training programs pursuant to this section;
(3) Recommendations where the Board believes that the Metropolitan Police Department’s current standards for applicants, initial training including firearms training, and continuing education can be improved; and
(4) An overall assessment of the Metropolitan Police Department’s current and planned recruiting efforts in light of public safety needs in the District.
(n) The administrative work of the Board shall be carried out by members of the Metropolitan Police Department as appointed by the Chief of Police.
(o) Any applicant who met the age requirement at the time of application and who was denied appointment on the basis of racial discrimination, as determined by the Director of the Office of Human Rights, may be appointed notwithstanding the applicant’s age at the time of that determination.
(p) Applications for appointment to the Metropolitan Police Department shall be made on forms furnished by the Metropolitan Police Department.
(q) Appointments to the Metropolitan Police Department shall be for a probationary period to be determined by the Chief of Police. Continuation of service after the expiration of that period shall be dependent upon the conduct of the appointee and his or her capacity for the performance of the duties to which assigned, as indicated by reports of superior officers. The probationary period shall be an extension of the examination period.
(r) If the Police and Fire Clinic shall find any probationer physically or mentally unfit to continue his or her duties, that probationer shall be required to appear before the Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board. That Board shall make any findings as are required pursuant to § 5-713, and those findings shall be incorporated in a recommendation submitted to the Mayor.
(s) Each police officer appointed shall maintain a level of physical fitness to be determined by the Chief of Police. The final determination with respect to inappropriate fitness levels shall be made by the Medical Director of the Police and Fire Clinic.
(2) The proposed rules shall be submitted to the Council for a 45-day period of review, excluding Saturdays, Sundays, legal holidays, and days of Council recess. If the Council does not approve or disapprove the proposed rules, by resolution, within this 45-day review period, the proposed rules shall be deemed approved.
(Oct. 4, 2000, D.C. Law 13-160, § 205, 47 DCR 4619; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-194, § 302(b), 51 DCR 9406; June 19, 2013, D.C. Law 19-320, § 505, 60 DCR 3390; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-198, § 6(b), 61 DCR 12450; July 29, 2021, D.C. Act 24-128, § 111(c), 68 DCR 007656.)
Effect of Amendments
D.C. Law 15-194 substituted “Board” for “Training and Standards Board” in the introductory language of subsec. (d), par. (1) of subsec. (d), subsec. (e), the introductory language of subsec. (f), and subsecs. (i) and (k); substituted “October 31” for “November 31” in subpar. (B) of subsec. (f); and added subsec. (f-1).
The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-320 deleted “standards for applicants; continuing education program” from the section heading; and rewrote the section.
The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-198 substituted “Police and Firefighters Retirement and Relief Board” for “Police and Firemen's Retirement and Relief Board” in (r).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 111(c) of Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 (D.C. Act 23-437, Oct. 28, 2020, 67 DCR 12993).
For temporary amendment of section, see § 505 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendments Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-599, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1017).
For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 505 of the Omnibus Criminal Code Amendment Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-44, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5381, 20 DCSTAT 1281).