Contee: Serving as DC's police chief has been "my highest honor"

A day after announcing his upcoming departure from the D.C. Police Department, Chief Robert Contee addressed the media Thursday. Contee, who has led the force for almost two years, will step aside in June to become the assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"Serving as Chief of Police of the Metro Police Department here in our nation's capital, again, has been the highest honor," he said at a press conference with D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

"When I started in this role as chief, I stood before our communities, bared my soul, and told my story," Contee said. "All of us have stories. I talked about my father, and my father being drug addicted for the majority of my childhood, and even into my adult life and rise through the ranks of the police department."

"I talked about my family. We're not perfect or anything like that. Just a little kid from Carver Terrace who happened to dream, who happened to be inspired by some people, and dared to do something - something that might be impactful in this community."


DC Police Chief Robert Contee III retiring

D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III is retiring, according to Mayor Muriel Bowser who chose him to lead the force almost two years ago.

"Am I perfect? Absolutely not. By any stretch of the imagination," he added. "But it is my highest honor, my highest honor, to be able to serve the residents of the District of Columbia in the capacity that I have for the last 33 years of my life."

"He is an example of excellence in policing, as well as a story of resilience," Bowser said.

Contee began his career with the department at age 17 when he became a cadet in 1989. He became acting chief of police in January 2021, and was officially confirmed four months later.