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Holy Moly, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier Retiring – Going to Work for the NFL!!

by Prince Of Petworth August 16, 2016 at 12:43 pm 79 Comments

chief lanier
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr.TinDC

Wowsa. From MPD:

“After 26 yrs with MPD, the last 10 as Chief of Police, Cathy Lanier announces her retirement effective next month”

The Washington Post reports:

“D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier announced Tuesday that she will resign next month to take over as head of security for the National Football League, ending her 26-year career on the force, the last decade as its first permanent female leader.”

From the Mayor’s Office:

“Today at 2:00 p.m., Mayor Muriel Bowser will host a press conference at Metropolitan Police Department Headquarters to announce Police Chief Lanier’s retirement from MPD.”

Update from Chief 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”

  • Formerly ParkViewRes

    I was shocked when I heard this, but then when I saw she was going to work for the NFL…not as surprising! I hope Bowser finds a good replacement.

  • L.H.O.O.Q.

    I’m so happy I’m going down to the Columbia Heights Bed Bath and Beyond to get one of those Lori Greiner Squatty Potty’s. I’ve been waiting for a special day to have an excuse to buy one and here it is! So long, Useless Lanier. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out.

  • Halfsmoke

    Nice gig!
    Congrats on the pay increase and better quality of life. You earned it.
    DC will miss you.

  • SilverSpringGal

    Congrats to her! Cannot wait to see the NIMBYs start complaining about the new CoP on day one.

    • I think sometimes people use NIMBY incorrectly. It’s like when hipster is used as a catchall insult. Let’s get our insults in order yeah?

      • INWDC

        Well, hipster has sorta become a catchall insult. You don’t hear people going around saying things like “he was such a kind, sweet hipster.” It’s more like “f***in’ hipsters.”

        • Jerry Grundle

          That made me literally laugh out loud.

          • bruno

            I tire of “pearl clutcher”. Good writing requires getting rid of clichés.

        • anon


    • L.H.O.O.Q.

      Hey SliverSpringGal,
      NIMBY means Not In My Backyard. Lanier was never in anyone’s backyard. That was the problem. I would have loved it if she had officers in my backyard. I would’ve felt a heck of a lot safer in front and around back.

      • Anon


      • MVT

        +1 Ha

      • FridayGirl

        Haha! Right?

  • MorgaNado

    I am a BIG FAN! She and Diane Groomes! Excellent job, Chief! Congratulations for your new opportunity!

  • madmonk28

    I think she was completely out of her depth as chief. Can we please do a proper search for the next chief this time?

  • Brett M

    Woohoo! Good riddance!

    She’s done nothing but make MPDC worse, and who thought that was possible? Officers don’t like her, she’s been at war with the union, she’s been caught lying about crime stats and mired in numerous scandals.

    Crime dropped 40% under Chief Ramsey, but crime is up since Lanier took office. And murders are climbing back where they were back then.

    Anyone who thinks she’s done a good job is living in fantasy land.

    It rose

    • Anon

      Part of the issue and we are seeing this nationwide is the mandated shift from the FBI from UCR to NIBRS crime reporting. NIBRS across the board inflates crime reporting. The old standard, UCR only reported the most serious crime, for example a criminal kills a victim in the process of robbing them. Under UCR reporting only the murder is counted, the robbery is not “counted”. NIBRS would count this crime as one robbery and one murder. DC is one of the first areas to do hybrid reporting, reporting both UCR and NIBRS. Most states are reluctant to switch to NIBRS reporting because of the seeming inflation of crime stats.

    • Anonymous

      Lanier has been chief for 10 years. Please show me the evidence that there is more crime of any kind now than there was 10 years ago when she took office. If you want to talk about crime going up the last year or two, that’s one thing. But there is no evidence that crime is worse now than it was 10 years ago.

      • Brett M

        When she started, we ended previous year with 35,835 crimes. We ended last year with 36,494. Do the math.

        • MK

          So the 600k increase in general population doesn’t factor in at all?

          • Brett M

            Population has not increased by 600k. I don’t know who told you that.

            But that’s besides the point. All I said was crime increased under Lanier, and it did. And yes, crime DEcreased nationwide despite a population increase nationwide.

  • ParkViewneighbor

    Did i hear good riddance ???
    Yes i did

  • Annon MPD (2)

    From the rank and file, we are jumping for joy! To any ANC commissioners or city council members that read these posts. Please, please, please, hire someone from out of our agency. Our top brass is just like Lanier and it won’t fix the problems this department has.

    • U neighbor

      Sent the email. Encourage others to do the same. Thanks MPD, we know you deserve better.

      • U neighbor

        Listening to the presser now. Both Lanier and Bowser strongly indicated that they would hire from within, and probably not use a search agency.

        • Sa

          Of course Bowser won’t use a search agency. More cronies; no professionalism. And she wants statehood?! #not qualified to run a state….

    • Brett M

      Please email your comments to Councilman McDuffie ([email protected]) and Mendelson ([email protected]) especially. They have this bizarre belief that Lanier has done such a good job and that everyone is happy with her performance.

    • textdoc

      Can you remind me what the rank-and-file’s objections to Lanier have been? I remember complaints about Lanier’s “All Hands on Deck” (AHOD) days, but I don’t remember what the other objections were.

  • Anon

    This makes me so happy, but the fact that our current Mayor will be in charge of the replacement search frightens the crap out of me.

    • AJSE


    • Alex


    • Anony

      +1 on the Mayor being in charge of the replacement. It will likely be a political favor appointee :(

  • Anon

    Not to hijack this thread, but I’ve been meaning to participate in the security camera rebate program and would like to hear from people that have had success with it. Recommendations for cameras and installers appreciated!

    • Nathan

      I went with the Arlo wireless cameras. Easy self install, and just received a confirmation that my request for a rebate was approved.

      • Anon

        Thanks! So they’re battery operated?

        • Nathan

          Yup. Had to play with the sensitivity on the one behind my house facing the alley since it was recording every car going by and draining the battery…..but much better now.

        • Anon

          And it was ok that it only stores 7 days worth of footage?

          • Nathan

            Apparently, no issues w/ approval.

    • anon80

      If you’re looking for an all-in-one wired system with DVR, the Lorex systems at Costco are good, and legitimately HD. The 8-camera system at Costco costs $500, which is the amount of the rebate. Also, before you buy, contact the security camera rebate office first to make sure they still have money, because they just opened the program up to the entire city a couple weeks ago. Previously it was available to residents of certain PSAs.

      • James

        Is this one easy to install? What is the recording storage like?

        • AJ

          I have the same system. Because it’s a wired system, you either have to drill holes in your house or thread the wires through window frames to where ever you have the DVR and TV located. However, the wires they use are small and flexible wires that can fit between many windows and the frame. You might see “IP’ camera systems out there too that use what’s called “power over ethernet”. Those are fine too, but ethernet cables are thicker and therefore harder to get into the house. This one is not that type, but the video resolution is really good. If you just want one or two cameras to cover the front and back porches, I’d probably go with a wireless system like others have mentioned. If you want more cameras, I’d go with the wired system like the one at Costco.

          Storage on the Lorex at Costco is 2TB, so it’s pretty gigantic…You can set it on constant record, or motion-activated record which will save a lot of space.

    • Anon Spock

      My pm told me it expired on 7/31. Might want to check into that.

      • Anon

        I thought 8/1 was when it opened to all PSAs.

        • textdoc

          What Anon 2:48 said — the rebate offer didn’t expire on 7/31, but 7/31 was the last day that it was open only to select PSAs and not to the city as a whole.

      • Anonymous

        7/31 was expiration of limited PSAs applicablility. If there is still money left, then starting 8/1, anyone in any PSA can apply for it

    • Mike

      We got the Ring camera and like it a lot. Submitting for the rebate was fairly easy online. When I got a confirmation email that the rebate had been approved, it said the check would be sent out in thirty business days (or something crazy like that). When I got home that day, the check was in the mailbox. Typical IT ridiculousness but at least it was in my favor!

    • On Capital Heels

      Cameras from FLIR. Local business install (don’t remember name). Easy rebate process. Highly recommend you do it.

  • NH Ave Hiker

    Ah, the NFL…what a glorious pillar of virtue that organization is.

  • jim_ed

    I feel a bit conflicted on this. On one hand rank and file MPD hate her and morale is in the tank, crime has started to creep back up, and the department can’t keep enough cops in its ranks. On the other hand, MPD has arguably some of the best relations with the community it serves for a major urban police department and a pretty open book about police brutality, which has helped us avoid the abuses and subsequent anger in cities like Baltimore and Chicago.
    I think it was time for Chief Lanier to move on, but I’m not very optimistic that Mayor Bowser will make a better hire than her.

  • ET

    I am neither a fan/apologist nor a hater but I have to say that I am not sure being hated by the rank and file or having bad relations with FOP should really be counted against her. I think she could have done better but expecting crime in a major metropolitan city (particularly DC) to drop to pretty much zero which from my reading of various comments in various places seem to have been the desire, is not exactly realistic.

    The next choice will be important and I definitely think they need to go outside of MPD. Promoting from within may turn out OK when an organization is health/well run but MPD has so long-stand (and even pre-Lanier) problems. Saying that bring in someone from the outside doesn’t guarantee good results either.

    • Anonymous

      The crime and enforcement strategy employed by Bowser and Lanier has been a disaster. Surprised no one has mentioned VICE yet. Columbia Heights and Ward 4 have rapidly declined. They hide behind stats, but meanwhile the criminals have no fear of the cops nor do the cops have effective enforcement policies. It’s a disaster. We need an outsider with a proven record. Not another political appointee of Bowser.

      • U neighbor

        Too bad that Bowser literally just went on and on about how she knows the top brass at MPD very well, and doesn’t intend to hire a search agency (but she’ll be “accepting applications” from outside the district. She just promised a political appointment, in almost as many words.

      • Shaw Guy

        This. Changes in Vice have made MD criminals move back into old turfs.

  • KK

    3 p.m. press conference, Bowser announces random PN Hoffman executive to serve as interim CoP…

    • Brett M


  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a win-win. Lanier accepts a new job, Bowser gets a fresh start re: crime in DC. All the electeds are feeling the pressure on crime. It about cost Brandon Todd his re-election and if things don’t get better, it’ll cost Bowser too.

  • Aglets

    I don’t get people who are anti-Lanier. You want Ramsey back? Lanier was upfront about stats and didn’t try to sweep things under the rug like Ramsey.
    I thought she was great. I’m surprised she stuck it out this long.

    I’ll miss you Chief Lanier.

    • andy2

      Yep and what Jim_Ed said.
      Plus you know what – a significant amount of blame goes to the US Attorney that doesn’t prosecute a lot of the perps that MPD arrests. I’m sure the rank and file MPD are irritated to rearrest time and again the same dirt bags that commit the vast majority of the crimes.

      • jim_ed

        This really can’t be understated. USAO and the courts hand out laughably lenient sentences to violent offenders in our communities. It’s disgusting and appears to be virtually nothing we can do to force a change

        • anonymous shaw dweller

          +1 Thanks for highlighting this important issue. Wish there was some pressure we could mount to reverse this fact.

  • Been fortunate to meet several officers in various departments, I could tell some were not happy with how things are right now – but I don’t think all of the complaints can be put on the Chief’s shoulders – some of the decisions have come from those holding political office and the Chief has to implement them.
    Also, the number of police officers retiring in large numbers is true – so is the fact that many applicants FAIL the MPD standards, both written and physical.
    The Chief has served the DC area as long as I have lived here and I respect her rise up in the ranks and wish her well. I have seen the highs and the lows of this city in terms of the Police enforcement and stability – so I am hopeful that her replacement is not just political, but correct.

    • Rich

      One hopes they reject a lot of applicants. I used to screen police candidates and the pool of people who might do a good job is pretty shallow everywhere probably more so now than before. You get cowboys, people wound too tight, etc. I wouldn’t get the mythical picture of there being tons of wonderful candidates somewhere else. My most recent experiences have been with suburban cops and in MoCo and Arlington–and none too bright.

  • Ally

    I will seriously miss her. Despite the negative comments here, I think she had a darn tough job and handled it very well over the years. Glad she’s moving on to something that’ll (hopefully) be a little less of a struggle daily. I can’t imagine having the police chief job her. Like wrangling cats with guns.

  • Ally

    I will seriously miss her. Despite the negative comments here, I think she had a darn tough job and handled it very well over the years. Glad she’s moving on to something that’ll (hopefully) be a little less of a struggle daily. I can’t imagine having the police chief job here. Like wrangling cats with guns.

    • Ally

      Uh, sorry the the double post. Not “computering” well today.

  • Anonymous

    I think the negative comments would be more credible if they were more honest. Crime has started creeping back up in the last year or so. But it’s not in the same galaxy as it was when Lanier took over. There is no argument that the City isn’t safer now than it was 10 years ago. For some reason there are people who think that admitting that fact is the same as saying that things are perfect. Things are not perfect; things can get better. But they are a helluva lot better than they used to be.

    • +1

      • bruno

        Wait. You said, “There is no argument that the city isn’t safer now than it was 10 years ago.” I don’t understand that. Is it safer now, or is it more dangerous now?

        • textdoc

          Seems pretty clear to me. Anonymous 3:32 is considering the argument/premise “The city isn’t safer now than it was 10 years ago” and saying “No, that’s not a viable argument.”

  • Anonymous

    Nice (and needed) PR move for the NFL to hire a woman for a high-profile senior executive position. Bonus that she’s more than qualified for the job.

  • Carlos PSA 403

    This was sad news to hear today about Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier retiring. However, I wish her all the best. She was a great friend to me and she always responded to my emails day or night regarding public safety.

  • Fred

    Wow. She will be missed. No riots here in DC- that says a lot about her tenure!

  • dc_anon

    Not sure why all the haters, just guessing that they don’t realize how far DC police have come since the golden days of the hire anything w/ a pulse 90’s and the unprofessionalism of Pershing Square. Just guessing these are either FOP folks or new transplants who just parrot whatever tweet storm of the week dictated their righteous indignation. From the citizens perspective, I find DC police to be among the most professional that I’ve encountered. (certainly better than PG or MoCo) From numerous officers joining in both neighborhood walks and local civic assoc attendance I believe its had a noticeable impact for the better on the neighborhood. There’s a reason that DC hasn’t had riots like Baltimore and it is due to the fact that the rank and file here are heads and shoulders above Baltimore.

    Definitely some bad, the all-hands on desk debacles, low morale to name a few, but all in all I’d say a decent job. When BLM is yelling that you’re too invasive and FOB yelling you’re not letting police bust skulls its hard to please anyone.

    • madmonk28

      I grew up in the area and have lived in DC longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. I lived here in the 80s and the 90s and I remember how bad the city was. The problem with Lanier, Bowser, et al is that they remember too. For them, this is good enough. They don’t have any vision for the city of how good it could be; they just have a low bar of how bad it can get and as long as they’re not below that, everything’s fine. That’s why the next chief shouldn’t come from the current MPD leadership, they come from the same broken system that promoted Lanier until she went from effective police officer to part of the problem.

  • wpk_dc

    Very surprised and saddened to see Lanier go. She really did serve us well. Hoping for the best in her replacement.

  • caballero

    This must be hard for some of her naysayers to fathom, but the NFL must have hired her for a reason.

  • stacksp

    Congrats to her

  • Anonymous

    I don’t buy the idea that DC politicians or police brass have decided that things are as good as they are going to get. I think that there comes a point when further improvement becomes more difficult. That’s where DC is right now. Unless you are ready to live in a police state, there is only so much that a police solution will do.

    How has poverty improved in the ten years Lanier was Chief? Do a significantly smaller percentage of DC residents live in poverty now?
    Is the unemployment rate in poor communities much better than it was ten years ago?
    Are a higher percentage of kids in these communities being raised by both parents? Whether both parents live in the same household or not.
    Do a significantly higher percentage of DC public school students graduate high school now than did ten years ago? Are test scores significantly higher?
    I haven’t run the numbers but I would be surprised if the improvement in crime in DC over the ten years that Lanier has been Chief dwarfs the improvement in those other areas – assuming there has been any improvement at all.


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