Mayor Bowser announced last week that she has nominated 28-year Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) veteran and longtime deputy to former MPD Chief Cathy Lanier, Peter Newsham, as the next MPD Chief of Police. Newsham joined MPD in 1989 and has served as Interim Chief of Police since September 2016.
“As we continue our work in creating a safer, stronger DC, I am confident that Chief Newsham has the skills and relationships to successfully lead our police force. He understands and believes in community policing, and he is trusted by members of the community,” said Mayor Bowser. “As Interim Chief, he led a successful presidential inauguration and repeatedly demonstrated that he is committed to transparency and accessibility. Chief Newsham truly values and respects the residents of Washington, DC, and I know that we will be able to work together to stand up for and protect our DC values.”
After Cathy Lanier retired as Chief of Police, Mayor Bowser launched a nationwide search to identify the most talented and experienced candidates to fill the position. As part of the process, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice facilitated opportunities for residents and stakeholders to talk to the Administration about their public safety experiences and concerns.
As Interim Chief of Police, Newsham oversaw MPD’s transition to a sector patrol strategy as well as the full deployment of body-worn cameras to all patrol officers. Before being named Interim Chief of Police, Newsham served as Assistant Chief at MPD for 14 years and head of the Investigative Services Bureau, the department responsible for investigating violent, property, sexual assault, and narcotic crimes. In previous positions, Newsham oversaw MPD’s internal affairs and disciplinary review offices and the northern regional command, which included the Second, Third, and Fourth police districts.
Newsham has a law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law and is licensed to practice law in Washington, DC and Maryland.