Washington, D.C., Police Chief Cathy Lanier is announcing a wholesale reorganization of the department today, abandoning the structure established by predecessor and mentor Charles Ramsey and reducing the number of African Americans in the agency’s top brass, reports the Washington Post. To make the 3,900-member force more agile and increase police presence, Lanier is shrinking her senior staff, beefing up technology, and putting patrol officers under one citywide command. It is the first major departmental overhaul in almost 10 years.
Four of eight assistant police chiefs were African American under Ramsey; two of six assistant chiefs will be black under Lanier, who is white. “I didn’t sit down and go, ‘Who can I promote with what race and gender?’ ” Lanier said. “I looked at who has been working at the highest level and put them in key positions. Then I looked to see if everything is balanced, and I think it is.” The new top assistant chief is Alfred Durham, who had left the force unhappy under Ramsey. Durham, who helped run day-to-day operations for Richmond police, will play the same role for Lanier.