Peter Newsham, a Washington, D.C., police veteran, is being named today as the city’s police chief to replace Cathy Lanier, who went to the National Football League, the Washington Post reports. Newsham, 52, will lead a agency with nearly 3,800 officers and with one of the nation’s highest profiles. The 27-year veteran worked as an assistant chief for 14 years and has been serving as the interim leader. Mayor Muriel Bowser chose continuity in the selection. Newsham was a top police official during Lanier’s unusually long nine-year stint as chief, a tenure during which she transformed the department into a national model of community policing.
When she named Newsham interim chief, Bowser hailed him a leader who she said “believes in the power of building relationships.” Newsham grew up in Massachusetts, attended North Adams State College and earned a degree in political science from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Ma. He received a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2000. Under Lanier, Newsham was a frequently seen police officials, appearing often on television at crime scenes, news conferences and testifying before the D.C. Council. He had been the assistant chief overseeing all criminal investigations, including homicide, making him the public voice for some of the most high-profile cases. He built up his own following in neighborhoods across the city in the D. C. Council.