D.C. Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey has reinstated the reserve officers program, less than a week after he suspended it when a Maryland man was charged with posing as an officer.
Ramsey said yesterday that 107 members of the 135-member volunteer unit returned Monday after police officials screened them. They will be issued new identification tags today.
Ramsey halted the program last week after Harry R. Green Jr. was arrested on a charge of impersonating a police officer. The 28-year-old father of three from Prince George's County posed as a reserve officer, rode with sworn officers and may have assisted in at least two arrests in July, Ramsey said.
"This was no slap at" the reserve officers, Ramsey said. "It was just so that we could check everyone's status."
The department's 3,500 sworn officers will get new identification badges later this month, Ramsey said. Civilians already have the new IDs. All identification will include security bar codes.
"This wasn't done specifically because of Green," Ramsey said. "It just sped it up a bit."
A computer listing of all 5,000 sworn and civilian employees will be distributed to commanding officers in an effort to tighten security, the chief said.
"Everyone will have to show ID," he said. "It's certainly not intrusive."
Green was arrested last week after arriving at orientation for a job as a security guard wearing a D.C. police uniform complete with handcuffs, badge, name tag, bulletproof vest, a 9mm semiautomatic Glock handgun and a department-issued radio. Green bought the gun from a dealer in Maryland.
A security guard on duty was surprised to see the newly hired Green in a police uniform and carrying a gun, and notified his supervisor. The supervisor called D.C. police.
Police confiscated the gun and badge, but Ramsey said he is unsure whether Green still has the uniform. Although the gun was bought legally in Maryland, it is illegal to carry a handgun in the District.
Green, who has no prior criminal record, was charged with impersonating an officer, carrying a pistol without a license and unregistered ammunition. He was released on his own recognizance and was ordered to stay away from the police department and law enforcement paraphernalia.
"With all the publicity, he sure as heck ain't walking into any police facilities," Ramsey said.