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[Excerpt] The Washington, D.C. metropolitan (DC metro) area is home to many federal police forces, including the United States Capitol Police (USCP), which maintain the safety of federal property, employees, and the public. Officials are concerned that disparities in pay and retirement benefits have caused federal police forces to experience difficulties in recruiting and retaining officers. In 2010, the USCP Labor Committee proposed six changes to enhance the USCP benefit structure. GAO was asked to review USCP’s pay and retirement benefits and compare them to other federal police forces in the DC metro area. GAO (1) compared USCP to other forces with respect to retirement benefits, minimum entry-level salary, duties, and employment requirements; (2) compared attrition at USCP to other forces, and determined how, if at all, USCP and other forces used human capital flexibilities (e.g., retention bonus); and (3) determined what level of retirement income USCP benefits provide and the costs associated with the proposed benefit enhancements. GAO chose nine other federal police forces to review based on prior work, inclusion in the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) police occupational series, and officer presence in the DC metro area. GAO analyzed laws, regulations, OPM data from fiscal years 2005 through 2010, and human capital data from the 10 police forces. GAO also surveyed the 10 forces.


Suggested Citation

United States Government Accountability Office. (2011). Capitol Police: Retirement benefits, pay, duties, and attrition compared to other federal police forces. Washington, DC: Author.