Prince William County’s next police chief will be Peter Newsham, who has served as chief of police for the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., since 2017.
Newsham’s hiring was announced in a press release Tuesday night. The board of supervisors met in closed session earlier in the day and interviewed four candidates for the job, according to Sherrie Johnson, Prince William County spokeswoman.
Newsham’s annual salary will be $215,000, Johnson said. His expected starting date is Feb. 1, 2021.
Newsham is apparently taking a pay cut to work 30 miles south of the district. His annual salary with the Metropolitan Washington Police Department was $282,716, the Washington Business Journal reported in October.
“We are happy to welcome Chief Newsham to Prince William County and the level of expertise he brings to the position," Prince William County Executive Chris Martino said in the release.
Newsham has served as the chief of police of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington since 2017, the release said.
Newsham joined the Metropolitan Police Department in 1989 and progressed steadily through the ranks to his present rank of chief of police. Prior to his current appointment, Newsham served in various capacities within the department, including assistant chief of police for the department’s investigative services bureau, assistant chief of police of the internal affairs bureau, assistant chief of police regional operations command north, assistant chief of police of the office of professional responsibility and district commander, the release said.
“I am excited to join the team and look forward to making a difference in the community,” Newsham said in a statement.
“Chief Newsham brings a wealth of experience and leadership to this position,” said Prince William Board of County Supervisors Chair-At-Large Ann Wheeler.
Contacted Tuesday night, Wheeler declined to offer further comment on the announcement.
Newsham earned a bachelor's degree in political science from the College of Holy Cross and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a member of the Maryland bar, the release said.
Newsham also attended numerous police executive trainings and seminars and is actively involved in the Major Cities Chief’s Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Additionally, he has attended the Anti-Defamation League’s training on Law and Society, and the ADL’s National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Israel, the release said.
Newsham was selected as the top-ranked candidate after “a national recruitment process,” the release said.
The county received 50 applications from 16 states and Washington, D.C. "The candidates went through an extensive vetting process as part of a contract with a recruiter, GovHR USA," the release said.
“Newsham distinguished himself throughout the intensive recruitment process,” the release said.
This is a breaking news story. It will be updated.