Robert J. Contee III, Chief of Police, Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is the recipient of the 2022 Law Enforcement Commendation and Medal. The presentation on April 7, 2022, occurred within the department’s Joint Operation Command Center (JOCC) attending by nearly 75 local and federal law enforcement professionals. MPDC’s Joint Operations Command Center, a secure facility located on the 5th Floor of police headquarters. The JOCC is operated by the MPDC, but may include staff from other federal, regional, state and local law enforcement agencies during joint operations occurring in Washington, DC.
Chief Contee holds a bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies with a concentration in Police Science from George Washington University. He has also completed the Management College at the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration and the Senior Management Institute for Police of the Police Executive Research Forum in Boston, Massachusetts.
He held the position of Assistant Chief of the Investigative Services Bureau when on May 4, 2021, he was officially confirmed as Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department.
January 2, 2021, when elevated to acting chief of police, Chief Contee made this statement to his officers. “Earlier today with family by my side, I had the distinct honor and privilege of being sworn in as the Acting Chief of Police of our great agency. As a native son of Washington, DC, the gravity of this occasion will not be lost on me and will further motivate me to be a leader that inspires each of you to be the best in your respective roles. We all play an important role in not only making MPD the model police department in our great nation but also ensuring the District of Columbia is a safe and thriving city.”
“Together, we will continue our part to build a healthy and strong community ecosystem. One that cultivates a police department that is rooted in fairness, with compassion for everyone and thrives from community relationships. Yes, the new year is upon us but there are still many challenges we must confront. I am confident that we will overcome these obstacles because that is who we are and what we do.”
Under Chief Contee’s leadership, the department has shifted resources to focus on an intelligence-based policing approach to identify, interdict and interrupt violent offenders within the District. The goal of MPD’s Violence Reduction Unit is to build strong criminal cases on offenders and groups to ensure those repeat offenders cannot continue to endanger our communities, by get the guns out of the wrong hands. The department deployed a new Community Focused Patrol Unit, which is a data-driven unit that assists in supplementing their existing patrol districts in areas of the city that are experiencing higher volumes of criminal activity, emerging crime trends, and/or significant events.
The department has partners with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau and the United States Attorney’s Office to form the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) to help investigate non-fatal shootings and violent gun offenders in DC. NIBIN is a proven investigative and intelligence tool that can link firearms from multiple crime scenes, allowing law enforcement to identify, investigate, and prosecute the trigger-pullers who terrorize our neighborhoods. Removing shooters from D.C.’s streets is an indispensable step in breaking the cycle of violence gripping our communities.
In November, Chief Contee held the first MPD Youth Summit. The Summit, facilitated by MPD and the George Washington University, built upon the wealth of experiences and knowledge that the youth of the District have acquired during their in-school and out-of-school experiences. The Youth Summit allowed young people to engage in open dialogue regarding the problems they faced in their individual communities, allowing MPD to gain first-hand knowledge on how our youth believe the Metropolitan Police Department can be more effective in addressing racial, social, and economic disparities and inequities within their communities.
During February 2022, Chief Contee and DC Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the Homicide Reduction Partnership, a year-long collaborative effort to reduce violent crime through strategic prevention and focused enforcement. With this new partnership, MPD will focus resources and intelligence-led policing strategies in collaboration with local and federal law enforcement and criminal justice partners, DC government agencies, and community partners. Also in February, Chief Contee with Chief of Police Malik Aziz of the adjoining Prince George’s County Police Department announced enhanced efforts to combat regional carjackings. The cross-border initiative between DC and Prince George’s County will focus on greater communication and public awareness around carjackings. There will be an increase in investigative support with additional detectives on the carjacking task force and an expansion of intelligence sharing to address the uptick in carjackings.
DCFEMS Chief John A. Donnelly Sr., is the recipient of the 2022 Fire Safety Commendation and Medal. Chief Donnelly started his career with District of Columbia Fire and EMS in 1992 at Truck 16. Over the course of his career, he has served at Rescue Squad 3, Tower 3, Battalion Fire Chief 2; as the Division Commander of Special Operations, Homeland Security, and Apparatus Division; and as a member of the Command Staff in Special Projects and Executive Officer Roles.
In 2018, Chief Donnelly was promoted to the newly established Professional Development Bureau which includes the Human Resources Division which includes the Payroll and Compliance Offices, Professional Standards Division, Training Division, the Medical Services Division, and the Grants Office.
Chief Donnelly serves on numerous committees supporting regional and national preparedness, including the International Association of Fire Chiefs Terrorism and Homeland Security Committee and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government’s Fire Chief’s Committee.
Under Chief Donnelly’s leadership the department implemented a partnership with the DC Department of Aging to deliver a public education program entitled “What’s Cooking Seniors.” The virtual (online) fire safety education program focuses on cooking and kitchen safety and will be coordinated with independent and assisted living senior residential buildings and management. Awareness on electrical and home heating fire prevention, smoking and oxygen safety, escape planning in case of fire, smoke alarm/carbon monoxide alarm maintenance, and fall prevention will also be included. This program was designed to address the rising number of cooking fires and senior citizen fire deaths we witnessed during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department is currently in partnership with DC Public Schools to deliver public education programs (in-person or virtually) to elementary age students. The program will present age-appropriate fire safety education topics such as: Stop, Drop and Roll, What’s Hot and What’s Not, Smoke/CO Alarm identification and response, and Exit Drills in the Home.
The Department is currently in partnership with the DC Department of Aging and other community partners such as independent and assisted living senior residential buildings and management to deliver 50 public education programs entitled “Pathway to Safety.” The virtual (online) or in person fire safety program will focus on hoarding and safety tips on how to declutter and reduce fire safety hazards.
The SAR Emergency Medical Services Award and Medals were presented to DCFEMS Firefighter/EMS Technicians Da’Von McRae and Richard Brady assigned to the District of Columbia – FEMS – Engine 6 by Assistant Fire Chief Queen Anunay. They received the awards in recognition of their dedication to the preservation of life and health under emergency conditions and performing beyond the duties normally called for within the emergency medical services profession specifically demonstrated on March 23, 2021, while performing emergency care for a resident in the District of Columbia. The family of the resident sent a letter to the FEMS applauding the performance of the two technicians quoting "I continue to give God the praise for sending us the right firefighters at the right time. Richard Brady and Da'von McRae went above and beyond the call of duty and it's because of them that [the patient] is much better."
Of note A/C Anunay was the recipient of the 2019 SAR Fire Safety Commendation and Medal as a Battalion Chief.