Farewell from Police Chief Cathy Lanier

Good afternoon,

As you may have heard, today I announced my plan to retire from the Metropolitan Police Department. I came to this difficult decision with mixed emotions, but in the end, I am confident that MPD has the most exceptional police officers and leadership that will continue to move this agency and the city forward.

Looking back, I am perhaps most pleased by the tremendous partnership between police and the community in the District – a partnership that has only grown stronger over the past ten years. I want to thank each of you on this email group for your engagement with police and investment in public safety.

Our work together is what helps our city and our neighborhoods to thrive. Information from community members helped to turn our city around from one known as the murder capital where you could get away with homicide, to one that has reached new lows in the number of homicides, and where police will never give up on trying to solve a homicide, no matter when it happened. Our partnership has helped to engage youth of all ages in safe and positive experiences with police officers. It also makes our streets safer every day. If everyone looks out for not only their neighbor but the person on their sidewalk, in the park down the road, or driving down their street, then the District can be even safer.

I urge you to continue to work with the outstanding men and women of MPD. I expect them to continue to protect and serve the District with same commitment to respect all people in this city, as well as our laws and MPD policies. In turn, I ask that you give them your support, especially in this time that is challenging for communities and police alike. Our patrol officers have demonstrated that they can take guns and violent offenders off the street daily and still make the time to play ball or dance with neighborhood kids looking for mentors. Our detectives, Criminal Research Specialists, and warrant squads pull together and work around the clock to take violent predators off the street, sometimes more than once, before they can re-offend. Members of MPD manage massive crowds, sometimes peaceful and sometimes not so peaceful, flawlessly, always keeping the public safe and maintaining order, while respecting First Amendment rights. Our civilians, while generally unrecognized by the public, work long hours to support our city and Department and are essential in our ability to achieve our mission. They do all of this without asking for your thanks, but they certainly appreciate it when they receive it.

Almost ten years ago, I accepted the job as the Chief of Police in Washington, DC, 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 this 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.


Cathy L. Lanier

Chief of Police

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