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One of the 10 largest local police agencies in the United States, the MPDC is the primary law enforcement agency for the District of Columbia. Founded in 1861, the MPDC of today is on the forefront of technological crime fighting advances, from highly developed advances in evidence analysis to state-of the-art-information technology. These modern techniques are combined with a contemporary community policing philosophy, referred to as Customized Community Policing. Community policing bonds the police and residents in a working partnership designed to organize and mobilize residents, merchants and professionals to improve the quality of life for all who live, work, and visit the nation's capital.
Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the department. The Chief is responsible and accountable for all activities involving the Metropolitan Police Department and establishes professional standards that maintain a higher level of integrity and ethical conduct than is generally accepted of others.