After 10 years on the job, Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine announced Wednesday that he is stepping down to take another position.
Dine, a 37-year veteran of law enforcement, has been appointed chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, a federal law enforcement agency responsible for policing the area around the Capitol and protecting members of Congress and their families. He replaces Chief Philip D. Morse Sr., who retired in May. The appointment takes effect in mid-December, according to a news release from U.S. Capitol Police. The appointment was made by the Capitol Police Board.
"It's been a fantastic 10 years," said Dine, 59, of his time with the Frederick Police Department, which began with his appointment by Mayor Jennifer Dougherty in July 2002.
"I'm incredibly honored to have been allowed the opportunity to work with the wonderful men and women of the Frederick Police Department."
Dine -- who also served 27 years with Metropolitan Police in Washington, rising to the position of assistant chief -- said the opportunity to head such a prestigious law enforcement agency was impossible to pass up.
"U.S. Capitol Police is a sterling federal police agency," he said. "I was honored to have even been considered, and I was extremely honored when I was actually chosen."
Frederick police spokesman Lt. Clark Pennington said Dine's tenure with the department -- marked by lower crime rates, improved technology and crime-fighting strategies, and a successful reorganization in response to budget cuts -- has been an effective one.
"He's done a lot of great things, and we've had a lot of progress," Pennington said. "He's said he respects the men and women who make up the department, and he's shown it. That's the important thing."
By cultivating and promoting effective leadership below him, Dine leaves Frederick police in a good position, Pennington said.
"The Capitol Police Department is getting a great leader in Chief Dine," he said.
Mayor Randy McClement lauded Dine for having a strong commitment to the community.
It will now be up to McClement to appoint the next police chief. His recommendation will require approval from the Board of Aldermen. The mayor said he had not decided if he would look to promote from within the department or conduct a national search for Dine's successor.
"I need the next couple of days to figure out the process to take," McClement said.
Alderwoman Kelly Russell got emotional talking about the chief's departure Wednesday night. Russell, a retired city police lieutenant, has known Dine since he started. She was glad to hear he plans to still live in the city.
"He really changed the face of Frederick and policing in Frederick by engaging the community," Russell said. "The man was everywhere all the time. ... He gave the police department a new way of thinking. Rather than just being crime fighters, they became problem-solvers."
Under Dine's leadership, the city saw a consistent drop in crime rates amid rapid population growth, according to FBI Uniform Crime Reports. That included a 20-year low in 2011, when the rate of serious crimes numbered about 30 per 1,000 residents, about half the more than 60 reported each year between 1991 and 1994.
In 2003, the Frederick Police Department was nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Law Enforcement, and in 2009 it was named a Flagship Agency by that organization.
The department made huge strides under Dine's leadership, Dougherty said. She said she appointed Dine in large part because of his experience with the strategy of community policing, which focuses on outreach and education along with greater analysis of crime trends and proactive problem-solving.
"He does it every day, and he implemented it throughout the agency," Dougherty said.
"He wanted to make sure the officers knew who their customers were. That's an important part of his legacy. I'm sad for Frederick because he's been such an outstanding leader for 10 years. But there's also a great opportunity for him."
Dine said the department's community outreach under his leadership -- particularly to traditionally underserved groups such as the African-American, immigrant, gay and deaf communities -- is the aspect of his tenure in which he takes the most pride.
"It has not only allowed us to arrest more people, but also to be more effective and build bridges at the same time," he said.
Staff writer Pete McCarthy contributed to this report.
Copyright 2012 - The Frederick News-Post, Md.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service