Washington, DC, April 29, 2014 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today honored Cathy L. Lanier, Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police, with the ADL William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award in recognition of her work to combat terrorism and service as an “extraordinary law enforcement leader.”
Chief Lanier received the award at ADL’s National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., a gathering of more than 500 leaders from across the country. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fight against terrorism, extremism and injustice.
“Today we honor Chief Cathy Lanier, who is on the front lines fighting terrorism here in our nation’s capital,” Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said in presenting the award. “What makes her one of the exemplary law enforcement leaders in the nation are her values, her compassion, and her belief in equality and fairness.”
In December 2011, Chief Lanier asked ADL to conduct a comprehensive assessment of how the Metropolitan Police Department was handling hate crimes targeting the LGBT community. The League subsequently assembled a task force composed of major organizations representing the LGBT community. Since then, the department has begun an initiative to carry out numerous recommendations approved by Chief Lanier.
“This story is a superb illustration of what makes Cathy Lanier such an extraordinary law enforcement leader,” Mr. Foxman said. “Her purpose in launching this initiative was to make the police department better at preventing and responding to hate crimes, at working with victims, and at bringing the perpetrators to justice, and she was so committed to protecting the people of her city from bias motivated violence, that she was willing to expose her leadership and the inner workings of the department to outside scrutiny.”
In receiving the award, Chief Lanier said, “ADL does so much for law enforcement to help police around the world and here in the United States, and they help us so much with understanding. I do not think I can say enough of how important this partnership is.”
As the Chief of Police of the Washington, D.C Metropolitan Police Department, Chief Lanier heads the seventh largest local police department in the country with more than 4,000 personnel.
She has spent her entire law enforcement career with the department, starting in 1990. Much of her career has been in uniformed patrol, where she served as Commander of the Fourth District, one of the largest and most diverse residential patrol districts in the city.
Chief Lanier also served as the Commanding Officer of the Department's Major Narcotics Branch and Vehicular Homicide Units, was later named Commander of the Special Operations Division, and established the agency’s first Homeland Security/Counter-Terrorism Branch.
The ADL William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute on Terrorism and Extremism advances the fight against terrorism through education and advocacy by providing timely information, cutting-edge training and educational opportunities to the law enforcement community. The Institute assists law enforcement by providing resources for tracking extremists and terrorists across the United States.
The award given to Ms. Lanier was also presented by Alan Gerry, who created the institute to honor the memory of his late parents.
Past recipients of the award have included: former Director of Central Intelligence and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta; former U.S. Homeland Security Directors Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano; former CIA Director George Tenet, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and New York Police Department Commissioner Ray Kelly.