Peter Newsham Named Interim Police Chief in D.C.

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Assistant Washington, D.C., Police Chief Peter Newsham has been named interim police chief to take over for the departing Cathy Lanier, reports the Washington Post. Newsham, 52, has been an assistant chief for 14 years of his 27 years on the force and now serves as head of the criminal investigation division, overseeing all homicide cases and high-profile robberies, burglaries, and assaults. Newsham, who has a law degree, will take over Sept. 17, when Lanier leaves to be chief of security for the National Football League.

Mayor Muriel Bowser that a posting for the chief’s opening will be published soon and that after a contender list is winnowed, “a small group of community stakeholders will be involved in vetting final candidates.”  Criminal-justice experts have said Bowser’s desire to concentrate on internal candidates suggests that she wants to continue Lanier’s legacy of community engagement and rely on what she described as the department’s “deep bench” rather than initiating wholesale change. Newsham has been actively seeking a police-chief job and has applied for positions in at least three cities: Bradenton, Fl., Fort Myers, Fl., and Phoenix. He was a finalist in each but not offered the posts.

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