WASHINGTON - D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier is retiring after 26 years, the department announced Tuesday.
Lanier has accepted a position with the National Football League as the Senior Vice President of Security Operations. She served as the Metropolitan Police Department's chief for the last 10 years. Her retirement will be effective next month.
In a news conference to announce Lanier's retirement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Lanier will remain with the department until September 17, and an interim chief will be named in the coming days. As for permanent replacement, Bowser said she doesn't think the department will need the services of a search firm, but that they will work to recruit the right person.
In an email sent to the entire department Tuesday, Lanier wrote:
"Almost ten years ago, I accepted the job as the Chief of Police in Washington, D.C., not only because I love this department and the city, but because I realized the significance of keeping our nation's capital safe in an environment when everything that America values is vulnerable to attack. It is for the same reason I have decided to accept a position that will allow me to serve and protect America's favorite sport, as the Senior Vice President of Security Operations for the National Football League. It is an honor for me to move to the next stage of my career knowing that I can use the experience and education that I have gained over the past 26 years to protect and serve all of the NFL, its fans, players and employees."
Lanier has spent her entire law enforcement career with the Metropolitan Police Department, joining uniformed patrol in 1990, according to a bio on the department's website. Much of her career has been in uniformed patrol, where she served as Commander of the Fourth District, one of the largest and most diverse residential patrol districts in the city. She also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Major Narcotics Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units.
In 2006, she was tapped to be the Commanding Officer of the department's Office of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism. A year later, she was named Chief of Police, becoming the first woman to hold the position.
Under Lanier’s direction, The Metropolitan Police Department has increased its use of social media to include tools like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest, according to a bio on the department's website. During Lanier’s tenure as Chief of Police, there has been a decrease in the number of homicides in District of Columbia as well as the outstanding homicide closure rate. From 2008 to 2012, the city experienced a 53 percent reduction in homicides, ending the year of 2012 with a total not seen since 1961. The department's website also states that MPD’s homicide case closure rate was 95 percent in 2011 and 82 percent in 2012, compared to the national average of 57 percent. Additionally, from 2008 to 2012, homicides by gun decreased by 64 percent. During the same time frame, juveniles committing homicide decreased 63 percent, and juvenile victims of homicide decreased 85 percent.
Commissioner of the NFL, Roger Goodell released a statement saying, “We are excited to welcome to our team an individual of Cathy’s talent and extensive record of accomplishments,” said Goodell. “Cathy joins us with a well-deserved reputation of being a tremendous communicator, innovator and relationship builder.”
Lanier is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Unit Commanders Academy. She holds Bachelor's and Master’s Degrees in Management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Master's Degree in National Security Studies from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California.
After 26 yrs with MPD, the last 10 as Chief of Police, Cathy Lanier announces her retirement effective next month pic.twitter.com/Y0eYDH7BsB— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) August 16, 2016
FOX 5's Paul Wagner covers many pressers, stories involving Lanier and said that she seemed to be a little disengaged recently and her body language seemed to send off vibes that she was done. Wagner also said that he spoke to a number of officers on the street who seemed to agree with him. One officer told Wagner that he had been in a meeting where Lanier indicated she wanted to retire after inauguration.
Lanier's contract expires January 1, 2017, meaning she will be leaving a little before her contract expires.