Mayor Muriel E. Bowser chose Robert J. Contee III as the District’s newest police chief. Contee, a veteran officer and native Washingtonian, is more than prepared to lead the force. He joined the force as a cadet while a senior at the previous Spingarn High School, and now will take over from current Police Chief Peter Newsham on January 2nd.
As a native Northeast Washingtonian growing up in the Carver-Langston neighborhood during the crack cocaine epidemic of the late 1980s, Contee has talked about witnessing officers using force, “There are some people who are violent in our community who need to go to jail. Period.” Contee continued, “There are some people in our community, like my father, who are not violent in nature, who need treatment. . . . I think there is enough space to accomplish both of those things.”
That perspective has given him added credibility at a time when the city is working to overhaul policing. Contee is 48 years old with a wife and two children.