Since the D.C. police force is an almost military organization (“The Insider’s Guide to Real Policing,” 8/16), let it operate like the military in all ways.
Our military and diplomatic forces use the up-or-out system to maintain integrity and efficiency. If a person does not make rank in a certain time, he or she automatically leaves the service. I modestly suggest that our police adapt a version of up-or-out that would work like this. Every year, every police person would be rated. Every year, those achieving the lowest ratings—say, the bottom 3 percent to 5 percent—would receive an automatic termination of employment, just like in the Army, the Navy, and the State Department.
Some individual injustices might happen, but no one has ever said up-or-out is unfair, because it spares no person or rank. If a three-star does not make four, it’s goodbye general or admiral. This system would promote the highest efficiency in our police force. Consider it. Give it a chance.