Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine will stay in his post as the Hill’s top cop for at least another month while the board overseeing the department begins interviewing candidates Monday for his replacement.
The final stage of the selection process comes 10 months after Dine submitted a resignation letter, capping a tumultuous three-year tenure leading the force of nearly 1,800 sworn police officers charged with securing Capitol Hill.
As many as 10 candidates from both inside the department and elsewhere are expected to be interviewed. The board anticipates choosing Dine’s successor by the end of February.
The board said in a statement Friday that Dine was asked to delay his retirement “until a successor can assume this critical position."
“The board believes that the continuity during this short period of time is best for the department and will make for a smooth transition to the next chief,” according to a statement from the board, comprised of the House and Senate sergeant-at-arms and the architect of the Capitol.
Dine submitted a resignation letter to the board in April following months of turmoil that left lawmakers questioning his leadership. In August, Dine indicated to his employees he intended to keep his job until January 2016 to guide the department through major security events, such as a visit from the Pope in September and this year’s State of the Union.
Officials said finding candidates for Dine’s replacement has involved a lengthy search process that included help from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. As part of its search protocol, the association typically culls resumes, conducts background checks and advertises the job.
The decision to keep Dine in place signals that the department is unlikely to tap an acting chief. Prior to Dine's arrival in December 2012, Tom Reynolds served as acting chief for about seven months and remained on as assistant chief for first four months of Dine's tenure at the top.
Before leading the Capitol Police, Dine had a 37-year-long career in law enforcement that included leading the Frederick, Md., Police Department and a stint with the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington.
His tenure on the Hill was marked by controversy that began with a report that a team from the highly-trained tactical unit were told to “stand down” when responding to the September 2013 shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, in which 12 people were killed. An internal review of the situation by Capitol Police personnel concluded that officers were recalled because of potential security threats at the Capitol.
During the 2015 State of the Union, Dine was criticized for his handling a car chase that ended near the Capitol. The suspect who led Maryland police officers on a high speed chase was let go, even after it was determined he did not have a driver’s license. Lawmakers questioned Dine’s leadership following the incident and vowed to look into the matter.
Last May, Roll Call reported that a Capitol Police officer assigned to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s security team left a Glock hand gun and magazine stuffed in the toilet seat cover holder of a Capitol Visitor Center bathroom stall, one of several incidents involving firearms left by officers.
Dine will formally retire from Capitol Police. His future plans are unknown.
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