D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier's departure comes after nearly ten years in the job. We have had our ups and downs, but a variety of LGBT community groups, including GLAA, have engaged with her and other MPD brass to address police-related concerns. Already today I and several other local advocates were contacted by the Mayor's Office of LGBTQ Affairs for input on the occasion of Chief Lanier's departure.
That outreach by Mayor Muriel Bowser's office is a welcome contrast with the lack of outreach by former Mayor Adrian Fenty ten years ago. Fenty had explicitly stated, in response to GLAA's 2006 candidate questionnaire, "I will include members of the GLBT community in the search process when I appoint a new Police Chief and new Fire/EMS Chief." But in the event, his entire process evidently consisted of inviting Cathy Lanier to breakfast and offering her the job. Mayor Bowser has already done better than that on the day Chief Lanier's departure was announced.
We hope that the new police chief will continue working with the LGBT activists and groups that have worked with Lanier. A key document in this regard, which deserves close study by the new chief, is the March 2015 "Report Card: Status of Metropolitan Police Department Implementation of Recommendations from the Hate Crimes Assessment Task Force and Community Response," which was issued by a coalition of groups including GLAA as well as Casa Ruby, The DC Center for the LGBT Community, DC Trans Coalition (DCTC), Gays and Lesbians Opposing Violence (now the DC Anti-Violence Project), HIPS, and Rainbow Response Coalition (RRC).
In May 2015, I discussed LGBT-related police issues at a press conference launching Communities Against Law Enforcement Misconduct (CALM).
If Mayor Bowser and her staff continue their consultations in the manner they began today, the selection process for a new police chief promises to be a productive one. In the meantime, we thank Chief Lanier for her service and wish her well in her new post.