Police Expeditioner Program

Exciting. Engaging. Important.  This is the essence of police work in Washington, DC.  Many people think about a career in law enforcement, but don’t know where to start. If you would like to learn more about law enforcement and see what real officers do every day to protect the nation’s capital, we can point you in the right direction.

MPD, in partnership with the Washington DC Police Foundation, is pleased to announce the launch of its Expeditioner Program for young adults. In this program, you can experience firsthand what MPD officers do every day. One day you may be recreating a crime scene. The next day, you may be practicing your investigative skills.  Or you might be learning how to search for missing people in a neighborhood or assisting a disabled motorist. Through MPD’s innovative and original Expeditioner curriculum, activities will be based on real life police experiences, training, and assignments. 

The program is open to individuals in 6th grade through the age of 20 and is open to both DC and non-DC residents. If you are in 6th through 8th grade, you will be part of the Junior Expeditioners. As a Junior Expeditioner, you will meet for two hours on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 10am-12pm and cover topics such as leadership, civic responsibility, health and wellness, and more. There will also be time build in to each session to talk with officers about their experiences and to share your experiences with them, as well as a physical activity component. Water and snacks will be provided for all Junior Expeditioner sessions.

High School Expeditioners will meet on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9am-12pm. They will engage in lessons/training on topics, led by officers, such as criminal offenses, basic investigative skills, defensive tactics, domestic violence, traffic stops, and making arrests, to name a few. In addition to these sessions, High School Expeditioners will get to go on field trips to MPD facilities, other departments, and leadership building trips, as well as participate in moderate physical training.

In addition to these session descriptions, both the High School Expeditioners and Junior Expeditioners will complete two community service projects during the year (one in the winter and one in spring).

All Expeditioner sessions will take place at the Metropolitan Police Academy, located at 4665 Blue Plains Drive SW. Transportation will be provided to and from all sessions from any of the police districts upon request. There is no cost to be in the Junior Expeditioners program – t-shirts will be provided. For High School Expeditioners, there will be an equipment purchase cost of $150-$200 per student (hardship waivers are available). A complete list of required items will be provided.

Interested? Fill out the interest card here and come see what MPD is all about and explore with us! It’s a great time to be MPD, and it begins with you! This year’s program begins in September 2019. Please fill out your interest card and you will receive an application and follow up by July 2019!

MPD is also looking for adults to serve as citizen volunteers to help work with the MPD Expeditioner Program. To indicate interest in serving as an adult Expeditioner Adviser (volunteer), please click here.

August 6, 1861, Congress passed an Act which declared the boundaries of DC to constitute...

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...a police district to be called the “Metropolitan Police District”. The newly elected President, Abraham Lincoln presided over the creation of this new police department. Washington, DC was divided into 10 precincts; each headed by a sergeant with 150 privates divided among the precincts. An officer’s salary was $480 a year and they had to be at least 5 feet 6 inches tall, able to read and write, between the age of 25 and 45, and were required to provide their own guns.

March, 1865 – MPD handled their first Presidential Inauguration...

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...MPD intercepted John Wilkes Booth during his first attempt to assassinate President Lincoln at the inauguration of Lincoln’s second term.

In 1890 women were officially hired as Matrons which handled female prisoners and children...

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...In 1917, the Women’s Bureau of the MPD was created in order to give women a more active role in investigating. The Bureau became nationally recognized for its proactive ideas and methods.

In 1913, the Department purchased the first motorized vehicles (10 motorcycles) to assist the...

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...bicycle squads and by 1914, five “motor patrol” wagons were purchased. In 1915, the first police school was established to train officers in using their firearms and basic first aid.

In 1934 the first Metropolitan Police Boys Club was established The club was designed to...

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...keep young men out of trouble and provide them with positive role models, and the club still exists today as the MPD Boys and Girls Clubs. The club was such a success that other cities quickly followed in the footsteps of the MPD.

In November 1948, the Metropolitan Police Reserve Corps was established and...

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...first deployed on October 31, 1951 with the original responsibility to guard fire alarm boxes to prevent people from mischievously sounding fire alarms on Halloween Night.

In 1951 the Chief, Robert V. Murray established an Internal Investigations...

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...Division during his tenure.

In 1962 Officers began to patrol and monitor traffic in a private helicopter.

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In 1966 the first cadet class graduated. 

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May 1-4, 1971, “May Day” when over 50,000 demonstrators came to Washington to...

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...force the closure of the Government. This was the largest mass arrest in history with a total of 12,000 people arrested. Due to the professionalism and effectiveness of the MPD, there were no serious injuries to police officers or protestors, no use of deadly force, and very few complaints of misconduct.

In 1978, Burtell M. Jefferson became the first African American Chief of Police....

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...He was a very community minded person, having been a native of Washington DC and having attended American University and Howard University. His tenure saw a reduction in crime while also dealing with restrictions due to the energy crisis and threats of personnel cuts.

In 1988, the Department switched from the long issued Smith and Wesson .38 caliber...

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...revolvers to the Glock 9mm pistols after Washington DC was named the Nation’s Murder Capital.

In 1993 the Office of Internal Affairs was created by Chief Fred Thomas to promote...

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...accountability among MPD officers.

In 1997, Chief Soulsby authorized the re-striping of the Scout Cars...

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...They were changed from the blue stripe and gold seal of the 1960s, to a red and blue striping that is still referred to as the Pepsi can design.

In 2004, the re-birth of the Air Support Unit (aka helicopter patrol, Helicopter Branch) was...

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...returned (original disbanded in 1996 due to budget cuts) along with a small cadre of horse-mounted officers.

In 2006, the joint Police and Fire Communications Center moved to a newly built state of...

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...the art communications center located on Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue in Southeast.

In January 2007, Chief Cathy Lanier was appointed by Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty... 

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...in January 2007, replacing outgoing Police Chief Charles H. Ramsey. She was the first woman to achieve the position of Chief of Police in Washington DC.  In May 2012, Mayor Vincent C. Gray agreed to retain Lanier as police chief under his mayoral term.  Chief Lanier lead the Metropolitan Police Department until she retired 2017.  Chief Lanier was a great advocate for women in law enforcement and brought great technological changes to the MPD.  She was well known for her passionate involvement with the community.

In 2007-08, Chief Lanier initiated; patrol districts listserv; "Neighborhood...

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...Safety Zone” the replacement of in-car systems equipped with GPS.

On the morning of Monday, September 16, 2013, Aaron Alexis entered... 

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...Building 197 at the Washington Navy Yard, where he served as an independent contractor, and carried out the most deadly workplace mass shooting in the Nation’s Capital in recent memory.  Over the course of 69 minutes, Alexis terrorized thousands of employees of Naval Sea Systems Command, firing indiscriminately from a shotgun he had legally purchased two days earlier and a handgun he had taken from a security guard after mortally wounding the guard.  He would also get into multiple shooting engagements with responding law enforcement officers, seriously injuring a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer.  In his final confrontation with police, Alexis ambushed and fired upon another MPD officer.  Fortunately, the officer was saved by his protective vest and was able to return fire, killing Alexis and ending his rampage.  When it was over, Alexis had shot and killed twelve people and injured several others.

Chief Peter Newsham was confirmed as the Chief of Police on May 3, 2017. 

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Chief Peter Newsham joined the MPD in 1989 and rose quickly through the ranks, serving in a number of district operational assignments. Chief Charles H. Ramsey promoted him to Commander of the Second District in January 2000. In June 2002, Newsham was promoted to Assistant Chief in charge of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR). Chief Newsham was sworn in as the 30th police chief for the MPD on May 3, 2017. Chief Newsham holds a bachelor's degree from the College of the Holy Cross and a law degree at the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland Bar.

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