In Monday morning’s public safety press conference, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) named Pamela Smith the new Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). In this role, Smith becomes the first African American woman to serve a the MPD Chief.
Smith expressed enthusiasm about the role and emphasized her commitment to tackling crime in a “constitutional, safe and respectful manner” in the community.
“I am confident that with my experiences both in and outside of MPD that I bring a fresh perspective and a different kind of energy and a different level of passion to what I’m going to do,” Smith said.
Prior Chief Robert J. Contee announced that he was leaving the force earlier this year to take a role with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Ashan Benedict assumed the role as the interim chief.
Bowser thanked Benedict for his interim service and to Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Lindsey Appiah for leading the search for a new chief. Bowser expressed confidence in Smith’s familiarity with the District and policing practices in her new role.
Smith has served as MPD’s Chief Equity Officer leading the department’s efforts on diversity, equity, and inclusion and ensuring these issues remained a priority in the department. She also supervised the Directorates for Employee Well Being and Support Unit and Equal Employment Opportunity Office.
Before joining MPD, Smith served as the Chief for the United States Park Police and the Assistant Chief of Police for the Homeland Security Bureau.
Sarah Payne is a reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at email@example.com.