US Park Police Chief retiring from position after 1 year on the job

The United States Park Police Chief is leaving her position after a year on the job.

Police Chief Pamela Smith announced that she was retiring on Friday and didn’t give a reason as to the timing of her decision.

She made history as the first African American woman to serve as chief in the agency’s 230 years  after being appointed in late February 2021.

“It has been my distinct honor and privilege to cap off my career as the Chief of the United States Park Police after spending my entire career within its ranks,” Smith said. “I am proud of the dedication and professionalism of the entire workforce as we continued to meet the demands of a modern law enforcement organization.”

Deputy Chief of Police Christopher Stock will serve as the interim chief. Smith’s last day is April 30.

During her law enforcement career, Smith has worked in multiple positions.

She served as a patrol officer, field training officer, canine handler, academy instructor at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, executive lieutenant to the chief of police, assistant commander of the San Francisco Field Office, commander of the New York Field Office, acting deputy chief of the Homeland Security Division and deputy chief for the Field Operations Division.

She was the first woman to lead the New York Field Office as its Major.

“I thank Chief Smith for her leadership and 24 years of loyal and faithful service to the United States Park Police,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “I respect her decision and congratulate her on her retirement.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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