Volunteers 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 the communities they represent, thus strengthening the Department's relationships.

Service Requirements

  • 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; and
  • Abide by the rules and regulations applicable to all employees of the Metropolitan Police Department

Screening Procedure

All applicants will complete and submit an application. Upon review and satisfactory completion of a background investigation which reveals no criminal record excluding minor traffic violations,  volunteer applicants may be asked to participate in an interview prior to acceptance into the program. Volunteer applicants who are not accepted into the program, for any reason, will be notified.

Examples of Volunteer Opportunities

  • Administrative Assistant
  • Auditor
  • Community Service Assistant
  • Computer Programmer
  • Family Counselor
  • Inventory Control Clerk
  • Paralegal Clerk
  • Public Relations Assistant
  • Statistician
  • Station clerk
  • Any other position or service identified by the department

Types of Volunteer Opportunities needed to perform the following:

  • Any service or function which augments or supplements any existing function, service, or program which is staffed by employees of the Metropolitan Police Department
  • Any service or function that creates a community service capability which would not be available under existing programs or by utilizing current available resources
  • Duties assigned to a regular employee during the temporary absence of the regular employee, provided the volunteer is qualified to perform the regular employee’s assigned duties
  • Duties assigned to a regular employee, on a temporary basis, during periods of heavy workload
  • Duties assigned to a regular employee on a temporary basis or to assist in relieving an existing backlog of work
  • Volunteer Corps members undergo an initial forty (40) hour training block of instruction as a part of their on-boarding process and are assigned to support a district station. Additionally, volunteers may assist with high visibility details (e.g., parades, special events, etc).

Domestic Violence Liaison

MPD and DC SAFE are partnering together to launch a new volunteer opportunity within the Volunteers Corps.  This partnership will allow MPD volunteers to ride along with patrol officers to provide victims of domestic violence with resources and information provided by DC SAFE.

Volunteers will receive at least 20 hours of specialized training provided by DC SAFE, MPD volunteer training and will sign up for shifts to ride along with officers. Volunteers will not act as law enforcement personnel or advocates, but will be liaisons between DC SAFE, MPD, and domestic violence victims in need of services. These volunteers will provide critical information and resources to a vulnerable population, thus helping further DC SAFE and MPD's mission of bringing justice to all in the District of Colombia.

Apply here and be sure to select DV Liaison under the selection choices.

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 will be responsible for (among other duties): providing counsel to MPD members who request it, visiting MPD members who are sick or injured either at home or in the hospital, attending the funerals of active and retired members, participating in Department events, and presenting 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 compassion, understanding, and love for your fellow man and relate easily to people
  • Maintain high spiritual and moral standards
  • Be willing and available to respond to any and all situations where a Chaplain’s presence is needed
  • Possess a valid and current 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 basic background check prior to participation. To be considered, please fill out an interest card here.


In addition to the benefit of providing community service to the residents of Washington DC, as a volunteer, you will receive hands on experience, becoming a part of the Metropolitan Police Department's team.


  • Willing to serve as a volunteer (unpaid) member of the Department;
  • Be 18 years of age or older (16 years of age or older with parental consent);
  • High School graduate or the equivalent;
  • Live within the District of Columbia Metropolitan Area; and
  • No criminal record, excluding minor traffic violations.

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.

Questions? Comments?

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