- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The head of Metropolitan Police Department’s Patrol Division announced her retirement Wednesday, ending a 27-year career with the department.

Assistant Chief Diane Groomes, who ran patrol strategy for Metropolitan Police for nearly 10 years, will spend her last day in a D.C. police uniform on April 29.

Commendations from city officials came pouring in almost immediately for the veteran police officer.

Acting Chief Peter Newsham, who is undergoing hearings to become the next permanent chief, lauded Chief Groomes for service to the community, calling her a “trusted friend.”

“Since her first day on the job, Diane recognized the importance of community policing and the great responsibility that comes with wearing an MPD badge,” Chief Newsham said. “She embedded herself in the community because she truly cared about the District’s people and their well-being.”

D.C. Council member Charles Allen, who heads the Public Safety Committee, said he worked closely with Assistant Chief Groomes not only in her current position but also when she was in charge of the 1st Police District in 2005. The district includes Ward 6, which Mr. Allen represents on the council.

“She’s a leader who works tirelessly — with high expectations of those around her and with empathy and outreach that defines what we’ve come to expect in true community policing,” he said.

Mayor Muriel Bowser called the assistant chief one of the most visible, respected members of the force.

“For years, she has been out in the community assisting residents, supporting officers, developing relationships with Washingtonians young and old, and, of course, dancing,” Miss Bowser said Wednesday.

With the head of patrol post soon to be vacant, Chief Newsham said the position would be divided between two patrol chiefs — one for the north and one for the south.

The realignment will take effect April 23. Patrol Services North Bureau includes the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th police districts, and the Patrol Services South Bureau includes the 1st, 6th and 7th districts.

“This organizational realignment will enhance district accountability and provide the chief of police with additional visibility and insight into MPD’s patrol activities and services,” Chief Newsham said Wednesday.

Mr. Allen said he supports the new approach to patrolling and would work with the chief through the transition.

“I believe his goal of creating a North and South section is to ensure accountability and management — and his selection of leadership for each area shows the value placed on leaders with knowledge of the neighborhoods they serve,” he said.

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