New Capitol Police Chief Will ‘Focus On Building Bridges’
A three-month nationwide search for a new chief of Capitol Police culminated in an announcement Wednesday that Frederick, Md., Police Chief Kim C. Dine will assume the post in mid-December.
The selection of the 37-year law enforcement veteran from a vast pool of internal and external candidates was made public in a release issued by the Capitol Police Board, which led the search.
Dine will take over a department that has been rife with tension over conflicts between commanders and the police union over unofficial policy directives and alleged mishandling of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Though recently Capitol Police Labor Committee President Jim Konczos and others have cited a communication breakthrough and a good-faith effort by acting Chief Thomas Reynolds to find common ground, many believed the tension that took root during former Chief Philip Morse’s tenure meant an outsider should be appointed. Morse resigned in May.
Dine said that he wasn’t prepared to say before he starts his new job in mid-December what changes he might make to the existing order at the Capitol Police, but that he was committed to building bridges where ones might have been burned.
“You definitely don’t want to come in like a bull in a china shop. You don’t want to have preconceived notions about changes or things that need to be done,” Dine said in an interview with Roll Call. “We’ll definitely focus on building bridges and communication with all the stakeholders. That’s just a good way of doing business.”
Dine has led the police department of Frederick, a city of about 62,000, for the past 10 years. A release issued by the city announcing Dine’s departure lists among the highlights of his tenure the reduction of crime to the lowest levels in two decades; a community-oriented approach to law enforcement, and the use of new technology to find savings within the department.
Prior to his work in Frederick, he worked for the Metropolitan Police Department of Washington, D.C., in a variety of roles, including assistant police chief and commander of the First District, which includes the area surrounding the Capitol.
“Chief Dine brings a wealth of experience in security and law enforcement, and I am confident that he will continue to advance the Department’s ability to successfully achieve its unique mission,” Police Board Chairman and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving said. Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers filled out the three-person board.
“I had the pleasure of working closely with Kim Dine at the Metropolitan Police Department and then watching him develop as the law enforcement chief executive in Frederick,” Gainer, who earlier in his career served with the MPD, said in release. Dine, in turn, called Gainer a “mentor” whose guidance will be invaluable once he gets sworn in next month.
“He’s incredibly knowledgeable, and he has had an amazing law enforcement career,” Dine told Roll Call on Wednesday.