DC Police Chief to Announce Boundary Shakeup, Changes in Patrol Assignments

In addition, chief Diane Groomes will announce her retirement Wednesday

A major shakeup will change how D.C. police officers are assigned throughout the District, D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham is expected to announce Wednesday.

In addition, a longtime and popular assistant police chief is retiring.

The shakeup will reduce the District's regional command centers from three to two. The move will reduce levels of command bureaucracy and allow more officers to be shifted toward direct crime duties in higher crime areas of the city.

Overall crime throughout the District is mostly down, but homicides and other violent crime are a continuing concern.

The shakeup comes in part because Assistant Chief Diane Groomes will announce her retirement Wednesday. Groomes has overseen all seven police district patrol assignments. One city official said it's a job no one else could fill.

Groomes was in the running to become chief, but lost out to Newsham. She is now retiring to take over private security for the $2 billion Wharf project rising on the Southwest waterfront.

Groomes said she looked forward to taking on the new job. 

"What The Wharf team is building here is unprecedented, and it will be my job to ensure the well-being of residents, businesses and visitors that come to our neighborhood," she said in a statement issued by The Wharf.

Mayor Muriel Bowser nominated Newsham as chief last fall; he's expected to be easily confirmed by the council in early May. Newsham's anti-crime tactics will affect Bowser's run for reelection next year.

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