FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Fenty Transition
CONTACT: Mafara Hobson, (202) 478.9199
WASHINGTON—Today, DC Mayor-elect Adrian Fenty announced that he has asked 16-year law enforcement veteran and Metropolitan Police Department Homeland Security Commander Cathy Lanier to serve as the city’s next chief of police.
“Commander Lanier has superbly served the residents of the District of Columbia for nearly two decades, and brings a unique understanding of both the importance of community policing and the expertise in homeland security that the top law enforcement officer of the nation’s capital must possess,” said Fenty about his choice of Lanier.
“I am honored that Mayor-elect Fenty has entrusted me with the safety and security of the citizens of the District of Columbia,” said Commander Lanier. “From the beat level to executive service, I am intimately familiar with the District’s residents, their needs and concerns,” she added, concluding, “I am eager to join a talented, energetic Mayor-elect and his superb team in realizing the promise this city holds.”
Commander Lanier has been with the Metropolitan Police Department for more than 16 years and currently serves as the Commanding Officer of the Office of Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism. Working out of the Office of the Chief of Police, she has taken the lead role in developing and implementing coordinated counter-terrorism strategies for all units within the department. In this position, she has been responsible for all counter-terrorism operations, including investigations in partnership with the FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force; developing and implementing all field training exercises, as well as conducting risk assessments and critical infrastructure protection of key sites within the nation’s capital.
Prior to her current assignment, Commander Lanier served as the Commanding Officer of the Department’s Special Operations Division (SOD) for four years where she managed members of the Emergency Response Team; Explosive Ordinance Unit; Aviation and Harbor Units; Horse Mounted and Canine Units; Domestic Security Unit; Special Events/Dignitary Protection Branch; and the Department’s Civil Disturbance Units.
During her tenure as the SOD Commander, she established the agency’s initial Homeland Security/Counter-Terrorism Branch and created an agency-wide chemical, biological, radiological response unit known as the Special Threat Action Team.
Commander Lanier spent more than 10 years of her career in the Uniform Patrol Division. As the Commander of the Fourth District she created the Latino Advisory Council that later expanded to become the Latino Liaison Unit. She has also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Major Narcotics Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units in the Special Services Bureau.
Lanier has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice studies, from the University of the District of Columbia and a bachelor of science in management from Johns Hopkins University, where she went on to receive her master’s in the same area of study. She also earned a master of arts in homeland security and defense from the Naval Postgraduate School. She has been honored for her law enforcement and homeland security work and holds a Top Secret Clearance with SCI Access.
Commander Lanier is 39 years old and the mother of one son. She comes from a family of public service. Her father retired a Deputy Chief in the Prince George’s County Fire Department and her two brothers, one a captain in the Prince George’s County Fire Department and the other a detective in the Greenbelt City Police Department, are still in public service today. Her mother, now retired and living with the Commander, worked more than 30 years in the Administrative Office of the US Courts in Washington, D.C.