Volunteer Corps

The Volunteer Corps provides community members an opportunity to assist with the daily operations of the Metropolitan Police Department. The Department uses the services of volunteers wherever possible to increase community members' exposure to the operations of the Department and to benefit from the skills and abilities they may contribute. Volunteers serve as knowledgeable ambassadors to and of the communities they represent, thus strengthening the Department's community relationships.

Service Requirements and Qualifications:

Volunteer Corps Members must:

  • Have attended the MPD Community Engagement Academy 
  • Be 18 years of age or older (16/17 years of age with parental consent)
  • Be willing to serve as a volunteer (unpaid) member of the Department
  • Have obtained a high school diploma, high school diploma equivalent or be currently enrolled in school
  • Live within the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area
  • Be able to pass a background check and fingerprinting
  • Be willing to work a minimum 2-hour tour of duty per scheduled day and no less than 10 hours per month
  • Agree to conditions of work, including maintaining confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest, and maintaining security appropriate to the duties assigned
  • Abide by the rules and regulations applicable to all employees of the Metropolitan Police Department
  • Undergo an initial ten (10) hour training, followed by any training required by their placement

Application and Background Process

  1. Interested individuals should start their application by completing an online interest card for the Community Engagement Academy (CEA). There are three CEA cohorts per year. Upon graduation from the CEA, more information on the application process will be made available to interested participants.

Questions should be directed to [email protected].

Specialized Volunteer Corps Opportunities:

Domestic Violence (DV) Liaison

An MPD and DC SAFE partnership affords MPD volunteers the opportunity to ride along with patrol officers to provide victims of domestic violence with resources and information provided by DC SAFE. Volunteers receive 30 hours of specialized training provided by DC SAFE and MPD. This training is in lieu of attending the MPD Community Engagement Academy. Trained volunteers then sign up for shifts to ride along with patrol officers. When responding to 911 calls for service, including domestic violence calls, volunteers do not act as law enforcement personnel or advocates, but as liaisons between DC SAFE, MPD, and domestic violence victims in need of services. These volunteers provide critical information and resources to a vulnerable population, thus helping further DC SAFE and MPD's mission of bringing justice to all resident and visitors of the District of Colombia.

Apply here to become a Domestic Violence Liaison with MPD’s Volunteer Corps.

Chaplain Corps

Every day, police officers are faced with difficult decisions, some of which can be life-altering or traumatic. As such, there is often a need for a police officer to speak with someone who fully understands their concerns and struggles, yet is emotionally detached enough to be able to offer proper guidance and comfort. To that end, MPD has a long-standing Chaplain Corps to offer assistance, empathy, and compassion to its members.

MPD is currently recruiting clergy members of all faiths and denominations to serve as volunteer chaplains for the Chaplain Corps. Chaplain Corps members provide counsel to MPD members who request their service, visit MPD members who are sick or injured either at home or in the hospital, attend the funerals of active and retired members, participate in Department events and community outreach and present formal lectures as requested.

Qualifications for appointment as a chaplain include:

  • Be an ordained member of the clergy in good standing for at least six (6) years and be endorsed for chaplaincy by a recognized religious denomination
  • Show forth compassion, understanding, and love and easily relate to others
  • Maintain high spiritual and moral standards
  • Be willing and available to respond to any and all situations where a chaplain’s presence is needed and requested
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Never have been convicted of a criminal offense, nor offenses involving moral turpitude (minor traffic violations are excluded)

Participants must undergo a background check prior to participation. To be considered, please email Salah Czapary, Director of the Office of Volunteer Coordination, directly at [email protected].


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

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...Division during his tenure.

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

Learn More

In 1966 the first cadet class graduated. 

Learn More

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

Learn More

...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....

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...accountability among MPD officers.

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

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

...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... 

Learn More

...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...

Learn More

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

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

Learn More

...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. 

Learn More

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.

Questions? Comments?

300 Indiana Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20001 | P: (202) 645-0445 | F: (202) 645-0444 | [email protected]