Bowser selects interim police chief as Contee exits

Mayor Muriel Bowser named executive assistant chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Ashan M. Benedict as interim chief Friday.

Benedict will start his position as acting chief Wednesday, the Washington Post reported, replacing outgoing chief Robert J. Contee III as he retires to pursue a position at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Benedict said in a press conference Friday he will not apply for the permanent position as a “personal decision,” meaning Bowser will still search for a replacement.

“I think I’m better suited to support the department as the executive assistant chief and now as the interim chief while the search continues,” Benedict said in a press conference Friday. “I think it’s important to bring some stability and consistency to department operations and not have that distraction at all.”
Benedict said he intends to remain in the department after Bowser names a permanent chief. Bowser said in a press conference Friday Contee’s last official day will be June 3, but his last official day will be Wednesday.

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