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Another Top Official Leaves MCPD, as Search for New Police Chief Continues

Since Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger retired in April, and the Elrich Administration began a search for a replacement for the top spot in the department, there has been a steady stream of top level experienced police executives leaving the police department.

This week it was announced that Assistant Chief Laura Lanham, a 28-year veteran, will leave the MCPD to take deputy chief spot in the Rockville City Police Department.

Rockville Police Chief Victor Brito announced Monday that Laura Lanham will be Rockville’s next deputy chief of police. Lanham is a 28 year veteran with the Montgomery County Police Department. Lanham will start on Monday, July 15.

“I am humbled by my selection as the Deputy Chief of the Rockville City Police Department,” Lanham said. “RCPD has an excellent reputation earned through many years of dedicated and professional service in the city. I look forward to working alongside members of the department and city government in their continued efforts to serve the Rockville community to the best of our ability.”

Lanham most recently serving as an assistant chief overseeing the Patrol Services Bureau. She has served in numerous capacities as an executive officer with county police, including as director of the Criminal Investigations Division, the Legal and Labor Division, and the Policy and Planning Division. She also served as commander of the 4th District - Wheaton and chief of the Investigative Services Bureau. Lanham earned a dual Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and sociology from the University of Maryland and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 263.

“I am excited to welcome Laura Lanham to the Rockville City Police Department,” Brito said. “Her skills and knowledge will be immediately beneficial to the Rockville City Police Department, especially with her current position as assistant chief of the Patrol Services Bureau and her familiarization with the Rockville community.”

Last month, it was announced that Acting Chief Russell Hamill, the man who was named Acting Chief while the search for Manger’s replacement took place would be leaving to become Chief or the Laurel Police Department. Hamill has been replaced as Acting Chief of the MCPD by Assistant Chief Marcus Jones, who was serving as the head of the MCPD’s Investigative Services Bureau.

Two more assistant chiefs left the MCPD to pursue careers with other jurisdictions. In April 2018, former Commander of the 5th District in Germantown Montgomery County Police Assistant Chief Luther Reynolds was named Chief of Police for the City of Charleston, South Carolina. In May of 2018, Assistant Chief Darryl McSwain was named Park Police Chief for the Montgomery County Division by the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The latest moves among the top echelon of the MCPD come as the department is coming under increasing pressure from county leaders following the shooting death of Robert White by an officer, and a the video of white officer using the “N-word” when speaking to a group of African-American men outside a White Oak McDonald’s. On Thursday night, County Executive Marc Elrich and Councilmember At-Large Will Jawando held a public forum with county residents at Kennedy High School in Wheaton which drew about 200 people to discuss grievances and offer input on the search for a new police chief.

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