Capitol Police are counting on Frederick Police Chief Dine to provide a fresh set of eyes for the force of about 1,775 sworn officers and 370 non-sworn employees.
Kim C. Dine was tapped in 2002 to lead a city police department plagued by low staff morale, virulent union criticism and generally poor communication.
A decade later, Dine is poised to take the helm of another law enforcement agency suffering from many of the same maladies: the Capitol Police.
Dine, currently the police chief in Frederick, Md., will become the new Capitol Police chief in mid-December. The 37-year law enforcement veteran takes over a 185-year-old force in need of a boost following the June resignation of Chief Phillip Morse and still fractured by the legacy he left behind.
Dine’s record of revitalizing the Frederick department after a period of unease was no doubt a factor in his selection.
In an interview with Roll Call after his appointment was announced in mid-November, Dine said he comes to the Capitol Police with an open mind.
“I have no preconceived notions about changes or things that need to be done,” he said. “I’m not interested in making changes just to make them. Each police agency has its own unique culture. ... I try to talk less and listen more.”
Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer, a former Capitol Police chief, has known Dine since they worked together for the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. Dine was commander of the 1st District, which includes the Capitol campus, from 1998 to 2001, and considers Gainer a mentor.
Gainer said Dine’s even temperament will serve him well in dealing with the politics and personalities of a force charged with protecting 535 members and their staff.
“He’s methodical, deliberative and inclusive, and those are successful traits to have up on the Hill,” Gainer said. “I was too rambunctious and impatient sometimes. Kim’s approach, I think, will create a tempo that will work well.”
The 59-year-old native of Mamaroneck, N.Y., began his law enforcement career in 1975 with D.C.’s MPD, where, in addition to serving as 1st District commander, Dine held positions including assistant police chief. He became acquainted early in life with law enforcement because his father was a newspaper reporter who started out on the police beat.
In Frederick, Dine was credited with bringing down the crime rate to a 20-year low, easing racial tensions and strengthening channels of communication.
“Frederick had political problems, race issues,” Gainer said. “Kim unraveled that.”
Dine became Frederick police chief after the resignation of Ray Raffensberger. Under Raffensberger’s watch, officers clashed with the city’s minority communities and faced accusations of racial profiling. The Frederick Fraternal Order of Police threatened a no-confidence vote against his leadership.