DC police hire former US Park Police chief to lead equity efforts

D.C. police have hired former U.S. Park Police Chief Pamela Smith to serve as the department’s first chief equity officer.

Chief Robert Contee said Tuesday that Smith would fill the new position, created to lead the department’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.



Smith’s 24-year career at USPP spanned multiple cities — including Washington, New York and San Francisco — and in February, 2021, she was appointed as the first Black woman to lead the law enforcement agency. Smith retired from her post last month after a year on the job.

“My vision for the Metropolitan Police Department is to achieve excellence in all aspects of our agency, and that includes affording our members opportunity, support and development,” Contee said in a news release.

“The hiring of the new chief equity officer is a promise to our members and to our community to do just that, transfer excellence in our daily efforts.”

According to Smith’s biography on the D.C. police website, she is tasked with leading departmentwide diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and accountability efforts, in additional to providing officials with strategic advice.

“This role is crucial to the success of all members in our department and our efforts to continue advancing MPD as the model police agency across the world,” Smith said.

“My personal and professional goals have always been to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and in my community, and my earnest commitment is to advocate for the same here at MPD.”

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.

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