Bowser Stays Local, Picks Newsham as Police Chief

Quincy Booth Appointed Department of Corrections Director

Peter Newsham (in blue) has been named chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. (Courtesy photo)
Peter Newsham (in blue) has been named chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced her nominations for the next Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) chief and the director of the DC Department of Corrections (DOC) on Thursday.

Peter Newsham, who joined the MPD in 1989 and has served as its interim chief since September, and Quincy Booth, interim director for the DOC, will both head their respective departments as chief, assuming their confirmation by the D.C. City Council.

During a Thursday press conference, which came just hours before a Northeast shooting incident left a suspect dead and two District police officers wounded, the mayor shared reasons for her selections.

“As we continue our work in creating a safer, stronger D.C., I am confident that Chief Newsham has the skills and relationships to successfully lead our police force,” she said. “He understands and believes in community policing and he is trusted by members of the community.”

Upon the retirement of Chief Cathy Lanier in September, Bowser initiated a nationwide search to identify the most talented and experienced candidates to fill the position. Newsham, an assistant chief under the two previous chiefs, Lanier and Charles H. Ramsey, was chosen as the interim chief to lead a force of nearly 3,800 while the search continued.

After referencing Newsham’s impressive, nearly 28-year career with the MPD, Bowser similarly spoke highly about Booth.

“Quincy … knows the ins and outs of DC’s public safety and justice systems,” she said. “We value giving residents second chances when they earn them and because of [his] leadership and the workforce training programs he oversees, we are positioning more of our returning citizens for a successful return to their families. There is no one better positioned to lead the DC Department of Corrections and to continue overseeing the Correctional Treatment Facility.”

Attorney General Karl A. Racine affirmed Bowser’s decision to appoint Newsham as the MPD’s permanent leader.

“I have worked with Pete Newsham regularly since I became Attorney General in January of 2015 and I have been impressed with his commitment to protecting District residents,” Racine said in an issued statement. “[Our office] looks forward to continuing our work with MPD under his leadership as well as our other public-safety partners as we coordinate to improve and reform the District’s criminal justice system.”

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