Issues to Consider in Consolidating the Library Police Force With the Capitol Police Force

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1990-03-30.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                     UuitedStatesGeneralAccountingOfKce      /y/O32

&A0                  Testimony


For Release           Issues to Consider    in Consolidating
on Delivery           the Library Police    Force With the Capitol
Expected at           Police Force
10 a.m.
March 30, 1990

                      Statement    of'
                      Brian P. Crowley
                      Director   of Planning    and Reporting
                      Accounting    and Financial   Management        Division
                      Before the
                      Subcommittee  on Legislative        Branch
                      Committee on Appropriations
                      United States Senate

GAO/T-AFMD-90-13                                                      GAOFerm    l@O(lt/rrt)

    Mr. Chairman               and Members of the                          Subcommittee:

              I am pleased                  to present           to you the                 preliminary               results         of our
    review          of the         issues          to be considered                   regarding           the      possible
    consolidation                  of the          Library       Police            Force      with      the      Capitol          Police
    Force.           We made the                 review       pursuant             to the       Senate's              report      on the
    fiscal          year     1990 Legislative                    Branch            Appropriations                bill.

              My statement                 today       discusses             a number of              issues           that      need to be
    addressed              should         a consolidation                   take      place.           I would           like     to    point
    out,      however,             that      the     timing          of any consolidation                        is      very     important.
    As we stated               to the         Subcommittee                  last      week,      the      Capitol             Police
    presently          operate              under      a dual         pay and administrative                             system.         Some
    Capitol          Police         are      on the          House payroll                  and the       rest         are      on the
    Senate      payroll.                  There      are large              differences              in the       way in which              each
    is     administered.                    In our view,              it     would       be prudent              to         resolve     these
    differences              before          consolidating                  with      the     Library         Police.             Regardless
    of whether              a consolidation                   occurs,          we have also               identified              a number
    of actions              that      the     Librarian              should          consider        taking            to     reduce     the
    cost      of operating                 the      Library          Police.

              But     before          I discuss              these         issues,          I would       like         to provide          some
    background              information.


               On August            4,      1950,      legislation                 was passed (Public                      Law 81-659)
    which        authorized               the      Librarian           of Congress                to designate              employees            of
    the       Library           as special            policemen             for     duty       in connection                with      the
    policing             of the          Library       of Congress                 buildings,               grounds,        and adjacent
    streets.              This      legislation               also      granted            authority              to the      special
    police          to    enforce,           and make arrests                      for,      violations              of    laws      and
    regulations                 within       the     Library           of Congress'                 buildings             and grounds.
    Additional             legislation                approved          in        1987 (Public                  Law 100-135)          changed
    the       name of the                special       police          to the           Police,           and mandated             that     rank
    structure             and pay for               such employees                  would         be made identical                   to that
    of the          Capitol         Police          over      a four-year                 period.               The Library          Police
    Force        currently               has 142 authorized                       positions              with     an on-board
    complement             of      120 sworn           officers.

               The much larger                     Capitol       Police            is     charged          with     protecting             the
    Congress             and its          staff,       buildings,                 and visitors                  and regulating
    traffic          within         and around               Capitol         grounds.               It     has a current              strength
    of    1,308          employees,             of which         1,235            are sworn officers                      and 73 are


               We    would        like       to     bring      to your             attention              four     issues      that        we
    believe          need to         be addressed                if     a consolidation                         of the     Library         and

Capitol           Police       were to take               place.              These       issues          concern         the
Librarian              of Congress1              authority             for      protecting               the     Library,            union
representation                 of    some Library                 Police         members,            compensation               and
benefits           available             to the         Library          Police,          and the          training            of the
Library           Police.            3

Librarian's                Authority         for        Security

          The Librarian                  of Congress              is     statutorily               authorized             to
designate           employees             as police           and to            prescribe            regulations               to
provide           adequate          protection            of the             Library       buildings              and grounds                and
af all          persons        and property               within          the      Library.               The Librarian                has
used the           Library          Police         to    provide             such protective                   services         since

          If     the     Library          Police         were consolidated                        with     the     Capitol
Police,          the     question          of whether              the        Librarian            should         continue            to have
legal          authority         to designate               employees              as police              should      be addressed.

Union          Representation

          Library           Police        privates          are represented                   by union             Local        2477 of
the     American            Federation             of    State,         County          and Municipal                Employees
(AFSCME).              Neither           other      Library            Police          officers           nor     any of the
Capitol          Police        have       union         representation.                    The Counsel              to      the       Capitol
Police          has taken the              position           that        the      Capitol          Police         Board        is

legally         prohibited                 from     recognizing           a collective                   bargaining           unit        such
as Local         2477 without                     express      authorization                 from        the     Congress.

          Although           all      106 Library              Police        privates              are    represented            by
AFSCME, only               about           10 percent          are dues-paying                     members.          We do not
know whether               the      privates           or AFSCME would                  take        any action             to oppose
the   consolidation                   if     it     would      mean the          loss        of     recognition             of Local
2477 as the               collective               bargaining         unit       for        the     Library         Police

Compensation               and Benefits

          Under the           category              of compensation               and benefits,                  there       are      a
few issues           to consider                   regarding       pay,        leave,             retirement,          and
promotion           status.


          Presently,               Library          Police      are     paid      less         than       Capitol          Police         of
similar         rank.         This         disparity,           however,          will         be eliminated                in
October         1990,       when the              Library       Police         will         receive        the      last     pay
increase         mandated            by Public              Law 100-135,               to    achieve           pay parity
between       the         two police              forces.        But one administrative                             problem

          As we testified                 before      this           Subcommittee              last      week at the
Capitol          Police       Board       appropriation                   hearing,          the    Capitol         Police
operate          under       a dual      pay system.                  In the         event        of a consolidation,                      it
is     not     clear      how a determination                        would      be made regarding                     which       police
on the         Library        payroll        would        be put           on the       Senate         payroll          and which
would        be placed          on the       House payroll.                     This        decision          would      affect       how
often        they      are    paid,      and also          has leave                and retirement               implications
as     well.

          Annual         Leave

          Under current               Capitol       Police            policy,          annual         leave      earned       by the
Library          Police       can not        be transferred                   to the         Capitol          Police,       which
has a different                 leave      system.           Should           a consolidation                  occur,       some
provision            would      need to be made to either                              allow       the     leave        transfer
or to make a lump-sum                      payment         for        any annual             leave       accrued.           Also,
the     Capitol          Police       do not       give      credit           for      previous          federal         service
when determining                  an individual's                    annual         leave      accrual         category
(usually            determined          on the      basis            of    longevity)             unless       an exception            is
authorized             by the      Capitol         Police            Board.          Most Library              Police       members
are     earning          more than         the     minimum annual                    leave--l3           days each year--
that      they       would     earn      as new Capitol                    Police       Force         members.


          Library         Police        officers          contribute                7 percent          of their          salaries

towards           retirement.                  Capitol             Police              officers,                as     congressional

employees,              contribute                  an additional                      l/2       percent              towards             retirement

and,       as    a result,            receive               an increased                     annuity.                  An individual                     must

contribute              this       extra            amount         for           5 years          before              receiving                 the

increased              annuity.               At      least        20 percent                    of      the     Library               Police          will     be

eligible           to      apply        for         retirement                   within          5 years.                If      the       Library

Police          were       consolidated                    with        the        Capitol              Police,           those            Library

Police          officers           who retire                   before            this          S-year          period           would           receive        no
benefit          from       an extra                l/2     percent               contribution.

           Promotion             Status

           Because          of     complaints                   regarding                 the         fairness           of      the       Library
Police          promotion           process,                an agreement                        was reached                   with        the

complainants                in     1982        that         no supervisory                         promotions                  would            be made

until       a validated                 selection                 process              was established,                          and       that        the

promotions              would       be offered                    only           to    Library               Police           members.                The

Library          Police          have         not         had     any        supervisory                  promotions                   since          1982
because          of     extensive              delays             in     developing                    the      selection                 process.

Presently,              seven       supervisory                    positions                 have         not        been        filled           because

of      these      delays.            A determination                             of      whether              supervisory                 vacancies

should          be filed           and        by whom should                          be made prior                    to      a consolidation.


           The     Library          frequently                    hires           individuals                   with          extensive               police
experience           for       its.     police          force.            If      a person         does not              have
sufficient           prior            police       experience,                  he or she is              sent       to the         Federal
Law Enforcement                    Training         Center.               But the          Library          Police          do not         have
an in-service                training           program.                 The Capitol              Police          generally             hire
younger,          less       experienced                individuals                   who are      all      sent         to the
Training          Center.              This      initial              training          is then          supplemented               with         in-
service       training.

          Capitol          Police         officials            have stated                 that      they         believe         the
Library       Police           are      not     trained               as well          as the      Capitol          Police.
Therefore,           if      a consolidation                  took            place,       Library          Police          most likely
would       not     be assigned                duties        outside             the     Library          until          they     received
appropriate               training.


          In reviewing                 a transcript                   of the          Subcommittee's               hearings             on the
Library       for         fiscal        year       1990,         it     appeared           to     us that          the
Subcommittee               was concerned                   about        the      cost      of maintaining                  the     Library
Police,       particularly                  with      regard            to      funds      requested          to hire
additional           officers            and to train                   the      Library          Police.           Even without                  a
consolidation                of police             forces,             there          are two cost-saving                       steps      the
Librarian           could          consider         in an effort                      to meet security
responsibilities                    which       may require                    less     funds      than      he requested                  last
          One such step                   would      be to consider                      using      civilian        employees           not
trained           as law enforcement                    police         to perform                 some duties             currently
performed            by Library              Police.          In a recent                   management            review        of the
Library           of Congress,              Arthur        Young and Company recommended that                                       the
Library           determine          if     the      security          function              can be most efficiently
and effectively                   performed            by police,                 civilians,             or a combination               of
both.        It     cited         an example            where the                 New York          Public       Library         uses
civilians           and special               police       to provide                    protective            services.          As
discussed           before          this      Subcommittee                  last         week,      we believe            the    use of
civilians           can result               in cost       savings.

          Second,          with      regard         to training,                   the      Library         does not maintain
an in-service               training           program          for         its      police         force,       and requested
additional            funds         last      year      to provide                 training.             While      the     Library
does use the               pistol          qualification               course             offered        by the      Capitol.
Police,       the      Librarian              could       examine            the      possibility               of making         use of
additional            Capitol             Police       training         courses.                  The Commander of the
Capitol           Police      Training             Division           has expressed                   a willingness             to offer
other       Capitol         Police          training          courses              to the         Library        Police.

          Upon completion                   of our        review,            we will             issue      a report
discussing            in greater              detail       issues            to be considered                    in assessing
the     feasibility               of~consolidating                    the         Library         and Capitol          Police
Forces,           and our         suggestions             regarding                the      consolidation            of the

        Mr. Chairpan,     this   concludes       my remarks.   I will   be happy to
angwer    any questions      you or other        members of the   Subcommittee   may