Executive Office of the Mayor
Menu Button

Mayor Bowser Announces Retirement of Police Chief Lanier

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
After 26 years on the force, Lanier departs for National Football League

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Bowser announced that Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Chief Cathy Lanier will retire from the role she has held for 10 years. Chief Lanier is retiring effective September 17th to become the Senior Vice President of Security Operations for the National Football League.

“Chief Lanier epitomizes the best of police chiefs,” said Mayor Bowser. “She is smart, compassionate, tough, data-driven, accountable to those she protects, and a great leader of the brave women and men of MPD. Best of all, she believes in the power of building relationships with communities as the best way to deter and solve crime.   To put it simply, Cathy Lanier has made the District of Columbia a safer and stronger place to live, work, and play. On behalf of the residents of the District of Columbia, I thank her for her committed service, record of achievement, and safekeeping of the residents of the District of Columbia and wish her the best in her future endeavors.”

The Bowser administration will announce an interim Chief in the coming days.  A search for a permanent replacement will begin at once.

“I love this city, and I have loved this job,” said Chief Lanier. “This city gave me an opportunity. It has been my goal every single day to pay back that debt of gratitude by keeping the streets safe so that residents of the District of Columbia can have the same opportunity. I’m proud of what the members of the department have been able to accomplish since 2007.”

As Chief, Cathy Lanier has overseen significant achievements, including:

  • Maintained a police force that reflects the community it serves. This endeavor has been boosted recently by a plan proposed by Mayor Bowser that would recruit DC high school students to become police officers.
  • Since becoming Chief, reduced violent crime by 23 percent.
  • Dedicated the department to police-community relations, which has assisted greatly in reducing overall crime rates in the city and building trust with residents.
  • Led the most professional police force in the country. It is filled with capable, smart, sympathetic, accountable and committed officers.
  • With Mayor Bowser’s leadership, implemented a body worn camera program that is the most expansive and has the most progressive public access rules in the country.

Chief Lanier, first appointed to the position by Mayor Adrian Fenty in 2006, has spent her entire law enforcement career with the Metropolitan Police Department, beginning in 1990. Much of her career has been in uniformed patrol, where she served as Commander of the Fourth District. She also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Major Narcotics Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units. She also was tapped to be the first Commanding Officer of MPD's Office of Homeland Security and Counter-Terrorism (OHSCT) unit.