Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Cathy Lanier

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

NFL Head of Security, Cathy Lanier, joins the Huddle. Lanier was the first woman to become chief of police in Washington D.C. and gives public speeches about her defying the odds as a single mother. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Sorry Dave this week, this show, Ishould say my foot cut here in the wire, but I think it's just an amazing story whowe're going to have on today and it may not start the way most of our guests start, but it ends of from somebody who sease herselfworking hard and doing something for others and knowing that her family isrelying on her and it's just a great story. Well, her story. She starts offfrom a very difficult currve ball thrown at her as as a probably a sophomore in high school. She has to adjust from that battle through that adversity and she then applies for position that the odds wereagainst her. She excels in that position becomes chief of police of one of the biggestmetra areas in the country, most dangerous and then advanced is tobecoming the head of NFL security. I mean it's a truly inspiring story andshe broke all kinds of barriers along the way. Well, we hear stories aboutsports right. All the time about an athlete who came from nothing came fromthe worst situations worked their tail off Got Tho College got to the whateversport they love to play, and we hear those kind of stories all the time. Butyou know creally see somebody in real. I mean Shesus Real. She was the personwho had everything stacked against her and said. No, I'm not going to let thishappen. I got a child depending on me and we're going to go fight and we'regoing to figure out how to make a life and to hear her story about how a thousand applicantswaiting in line to get a job with the police force, like you said, goingthrough the academ getting the in going through the academy and her first timeout literally, she said her first time on patrol is the riots it's seven days straightright I mean if what courage it takes to say. Okay, I'mgoing to go through this, and do I want to stay in this I mean she was meant tobe the chief right and if I was Antonio Brown, I'd be nervousright now, right from anybody in the NFL Ho dos something wrong, currentlyplaying or retired. I would be happy if I needed her. Iwould be sad if I did something wrong, because she's gonna be the person that is going to help you to the end. Ithink she's very loyal. I think she'll do whatever it takes to make everythingbetter, but also she's gotta Roll with a very iron fist. Looking forward to hearing from her sothis week in the huddle with us, Kathy Laneer, head of security, Dave giveme,her acculades, what bears did she break well, she's, head of security for theNFL, but she was Jus Li. This first female had a secarity for the NFL firstfemale chief of police for the Washington DC Police Department and served multiple terms from which o themayors, yeah e, Multiple Mares, which, in that in the chief o police world, isunheard of. You usually switch out with a new marror. She as stayed on well,they rewrote the rule just for her so that they could keep her on from Er.After mayor after mayor and her story about having to tell the mar that shewas leaving in going to the NFL, I think that's a great story so excitedfor everyone to hear about Kathy lineer chief of security. I thike that,because she was ahead chief and DC now she's, the chief of security for theNFL. Yes looking forward to it in a huddle with us, is someone who who maysee the brightest and the darkest sides of the NFL and has seen that in also Washington DC,which is crazy, fo, a very high level, fro, a very high level and I'm surethere's a lot of things that she won't be able to tell us today that we maywant to know, but I'm going to be on my best behavior. Yes, yeah, okay, OA yeahs. She definitely can dig into your background yeah in out. We don't want.No, we non't want that Grgt, so welcome into the Huddle Cathalaneer Kathy.Thank you for joining us in a hottl and we're so excited to talk to you. Thankyou for having me my pleasure to be here. Well, you know one of the thingswhere we always start was when we're kids Dave, and I have obviously lookedat your background and you know we try to find something thatmay have sparked you influenced you or something Da. You remember that waspositive from when you were a kid, so we just kind of want to start. We kindof understand where your history was, but part of our shows telling ouraudience about those transitions and it doesn't matter what happened in yourlife where you come from. But if you...

...work hard good things can happen, yeah, so nontraditional start for me. I grew up in a you know: Pretty RoughArea: U, outside of DC single mom. My mom raised three of us by herself. Sheworked her very hard, but you know raising three kids byyourselfs, not easy, especially when one of those kids with me. I was maybe a traditional teenager, so not MI,not too smart, not making a good decisions. So when I was fifteen yearsold, I ran away from home, got married and had a son so having the sun thingsnever regret the never reget that, but maybe they run away from home anddropping out of school things, not the best decisions, so I do t to school in the ninth grade.So a couple years later I was a single mom with a nice bred education, so kindof a rough start, but I went back to school, got a Gd and started workingfor the DC police. Back when I was twenty two years old and I spent thenext twenty seven years there I went back to school ended up with twomaster teries. I got a bachelor's and masters from Johns hoppins andmanagement. While I was working and got a second master's degree in NationalSecurity Studies from the neighbol post graduate school, so a bet start, but a good finish, and Ileft DC police back in two thousand and sixteen and came to the NFL wel. That's ITA. NUTSHELL DAVE! THAT'S A MAC!How fanit is that is quick. What I want to know like how did you join thePolice Department like what Ma? What's for Youintor thatall right? This is a funny story, so I was actually working as a secretary anda waitress at the time. My only concern was going back to school myself. I wastaking one class a semester at the community college, so I would have beenin school for like fifty years. I was also trying to get my son in Obetter school. I wanted him to go to a private school school systems were notvery good in the area where we lived so I saw an ad in the Washington posts forthe DC police, one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Now, at the time Washington DC was known as the murdercapital of the world. They were in a rush to hire an extra thousand officers,so they had this advertisement in the post and what caught my attention wasthey offered tuition reimbrsement? So if you came on as a recruit- and youmade it through your provastionary year, you could go to school and they wuldReimbursh you for your tuition for a college tuition. So that's why I wentdown to take the test. I stood in line with a thousand people to go in andtake the tests. Funny thing is: I stood in line with a police officer who wasworking in a neighbor and jurisdiction. We took the test after the test. Jusscame and I came in like number sixty it of a thousand people in the policeoffice that went with me. It take the test came in like three hundred andfifty. So what kind of what kind of questionswould they ask you on a test? Oh, you know please exams at the time Gosh thiswas thirty years ago were so bizarre and then you know, show youphotographs of of a steam like an image and a bank, and you get like thirtyseconds to look at this image and then it's like. What do you remember fromthat image? What time was it on the clock? You know what can describe theyou know the the people in the room and Thew some academic questions. You know,then s you can read and write. You know police reports and testimony and thingslike that, so I swored well inm a Tesk, so I got hired very quickly and you know my first day on the jobliterally when I got out of the academy my first day out of the Acay I went toan area of the city call mount pleasant and it was the first day of seven daysof Ryat. So when I got to work my first tayading to home for seven days andthey looted and burned and toorched our police cars, and I had toreally do some soul searching to decide if that was worth my college tuitionwell, that yeah that seven days is going to. Let you know if you love yourjob or not, that's for sure yeah, that's not handing up. warking ticketsis a rookieyeah. Actually it was I loved it. I love the job. I thinkthat's one of the things that made me realize that I did love the job. Honestly, notnot the fact that we were in that situation, but it was a real sign ofwhat was missing and policing. We had very poor relationships with thiscommunity. It was a largely a Lettino community, very alienated from thepolice, and this whole riot was you know, long time coming and so to me itwas an obvious sign that we needed to change some of the things that wedidn't policing and you know I love being part of it right, so that' portfor you to kind of I mean how old were you when you had your son fifteen? Yousaid Nefteen Yeah Fifteen, so then it was till twenty two TI. You went to theAcademy for so those years you were kind of searching. You said what am Igoing to do? I'm sure you went through some tough times and tough mentaldecisions yeah like we all have and in in our lives. So what was that thingthat brought you out to said? I got to...

...go, do Thi'm sure it was your son, butwell I actually. I tell you about three weeks after my som when, at the timewhen my son was born, I had never even babyset or held a an infant or so Iknew nothing about you know being a mother and about three weeks after my son was bornout. I Remember Waking Up. He was such a good baby. He slept on Er Crib at thefoot of my bed and he would just wake up in the morning and just wait for meto wake up. So I'd wake up, nd, he just be looking at me O and quietly youkdow', never cry, and so I remember waking up was one morning about threeweeks after he was born and looking at him staring at me and I went holysmokes. You know his whole life depends on me and I can't provide for him without aneducation and without a good job, and I wasn't going to have either where,where I was so that's the the day, I made a decision to go back to schooland get my ged and then from there. I just everydecision I made from that day forward. Really I workd two jobs. I was asecretary and a waitress, so I could get myself in school and get him to ina better school I' man. Every decision was about. You know, raising yourfamily, that's just what you do and you know now, on the other end of mylife, it's about taking care of my mother because she's old andindependent and ill so now I do everything really to take care of herright right and then we raise our kids to hopefully love us and want to takecare of us some day. Yeah. I tell my thing: that's what I told my son, not adaughter, exactly my sons. Don't go for that, butI always tell my daughter she's in vetcal at Penn, and so I'm like okay,one day, you're Goinna have to take care of me. She was yeah, that's HatHapendto, Dad I'm like Oka. My sonas here as me, Ho put me in a very niceplace, igexactly, that's what my boys say to Ltake Care of you dad, I'm likewhat does that mean, but so so what's the process. I wasjust curious about t the police, academy and stuff like that. You scorereally well on your on your test. Are they? Are you told immediately thatyou're very viable candidate and then Ow Godsin up? How does that work likeno gosh now? So it was about a five month process. Ido background checks. You have to go through a physical agility, so you haveto pass the physical Agilia test. You have to be able to pass a background, of course, a lot of medical screeningto make sure Youre. You know you don't have any physical things that will help Bron ov pray,your eyesights going to be good. You gotto be a witness. You might need tosee well so so twats about a six month process,and you know I went through the process and then the academy was another ninemonths and then you know a lot of people wash out in the academy. So thetthe canomy was tough. Yes, Ka was tough, so I had lunch with psychologist here theother day and he's a psychologist for the Pittsburgh police and he wastelling me everything that they do where they actually give polygraphtests and and psychology. You know reports and all the background, checksand everything you were mentioning, and he said it's I think he said here inPittsburgh. It's six months for them to go. It's ruling. I mean it really is aruling process, the the psychological exam the day you go for yourpsychological exam, it's a seven hour process. It is a seven hour, there's alengthy written portion to it and even for the polegraph, you have to fill outa Y. U know a book an literally have to Cot, a book before the polygraph. So Ait's a lengthing process. I think the five or so months that it took meto get in was accelerated because DC was in a crime emergency when they werehiring. They were in a rush to hire. I wasn't. I was a minority t. It wasthe only white female in the room of a thousand applicants. The the city atthe time is eighty nine percent African American. The Police Department wasNinety Percent Afican American and eighty percent mail, so it was a tough environment. When Istarted yeah, I remember playing for the Redskins when I started there inninety four and they would tell us like if you get lost in these certain areas,don't Stup and stop sine. Just just keep going like get pulled over by thepolice. That's fine! It will help you, but don't like get lost, go ass fordirections and and do all that- and those are the kind of conversations weused to have when we play on the redskins back of the day. So my firstyear on the job, one thousand nine hundred nd Nety, we had four hundredand seventy nine homicides and that's win the city at the time the populationwas about five hundred and fiftyhsand. That's incredible! At's! It's anincredible murder rate. That is, that is no! You were in the Police Force forwhat twenty seven years he said. Twenty seven years has twenty seven years. Youknow what it takes to get through the academy like for me. I know what ittakes to get to the NFL as a player, and there were always guys like goingI'm saying to myself how the hell did this guy make get here. You know what Imean like you're, like he's missing something you can tell,but he made it for some reason. Have you ever encountered people like thatin the in the force? Wer You like to you know, maybe it's the same withfootball I mean I have found. You Know My.

I have two brothers one's a firemanone's a police officer. My father was a firefighter, so I have found in uniformservices that, typically, if you go to work- and you just do the job right now, people don't really care if you're,male, female or whatever you know. As long as you do the job, and so Istarted in police work. Most of the women on the department were veryquickly pigeon hold into you, know, working in youth, division or being adeath sergeant or you know doing one of thes administrative jobs because manyof them had children, and so they wanted that daywork kind of thing. Istayed in Patro I stayd in betrol my whole career. You know when I got pressure to move toother those other jobs, I'd always say lookay. I came here to be a policeafcer and that's what I want to be. I know I didn't come here to be aSectaryi. I didn't come here to be. You know a youth counselor. I came here tobe a police ofcer, so I think very quickly. People in the UIFORM services,because you replot you rely on each other, so much for your own safety outthere yeah that once they see that that's your mentality that you come towork and you do the job. I've never had any issue. You know, asI work my way up through the ranks, I never never managed a unit or did ajob that I askd people to do, a job that I haven't done and, and I wouldn'tgo out and do with them today. So I think that makes all the difference inthe world just because of the nature of the work. We do you gin to rely on eachother and if they don't trust you they don't trust you right yeah, you guyshave a good sniffer. They can tell right away like eatyou know, you justknew we had fifty three guys. So if we lost our left tackle, we knew whateverthat next guy was that's. What we were dealing with. We had no other choicebut you're in a whole different line of work, but you probably have that sick sense. Thatknows like Oh, you know I got to be careful, his they're, green or they'rerookie, and we got to bring them along slow or whatever. It is well talk aboutyour assension because you rose to the top of the fors and just like how didthat work? What was your first promotion and how that go so for formost police departments, it's a civil service exam, so you have to take awritten exam and I A it's a series of exams, you take the written exam andthey do a assessment. So, like an verbal assessment, I you become eligible to for the firstrank at sardant. So with three years on, I apply for the SARGEST exam for USlarge police department. When I wanted to take the ORNS exam, I was competingwith eight hundred and ninety five people. I mean it was a big bigpromotion. We commention center to take the test. I studied hard because I I was a single mom. I wanted to makemore money, and so I didn't it's MMOTION. So it's more money. So Istudied I came out the thirteen on that test. I got promoted right away youreligible promotions, every two years after that, so I took every promotionalexam. Oh on so five years I made ther tenant seven years. I made captain andthen everything above the rank of caftain is appointed, which means thatthere has the very limited number of command globeal positions. So I got myfirst appointed rank with just under nine years on so o eight and a halfyears, and I took over the major oconics branch. So I ran major narconicfor a couple of years. Then I got promoted again and I took two yearslater and I took over a puttrol district, very violent area of the cityand then to year depitad. I took over well Prag after nine eleven I took overhe sfecial operation civision. So I ran the bomb Blod and harbor helicopterdignitary protection. We did the executive protection for the president.Vice President forn has a state and I did all Tho demonstrations andprotests in Washington DC for a long time, and I created our homeand scuticcounterterrorism bureau in the department, and so I spent five yearsthere and then cheef after that and Yeus Jum. So what was that like? When you first didsomebody kind of give you a little clue that hey they're thinking about you ischief or do they just come? Tell you? How does that? How how does that work?It was a very bizarre circumstance for me. So normally the- and this is in ninetynine percent of Olice partments crirls country, either they'll take somebodywho is directly below the chief, an assistant chief from within anapartment, or they will go outside typically they'll go outside and bringan outsideer cheeth in if there's corruption or there's some problems inthe department, you need an outsider to come in and do some reform. So therewas a los of speculation. Chuck Ramsey was achieved in the time he had beenthe chief and deput chief in Chicago before coming to us, and so when ChuckGramsey was going to leave so for us, since you're ppointed by the mayor, the average police chief last threeyears in our hundred and fifty six year,history in Washington, we've never had a police chief. That's served more thanone mayor every time. THORE's, a new mayor there's a new chief mayors liketo ppoint their own chiefs, so I was two ranks down. I was a commanderat the time was commander of homemansecurity an counter terrism, somy name was never brought up by anybody. It was never mentioned. They werespeculating, all kinds of speculation is whos, thechief was going to be andright after the primary elections. Adrian fanty, who was...

...elected to be the incoming mayor, contacted me and asked me if I'd comedown and breathe him on homemand security issues. I knew the mayor whenhe was a council member. I used to run the patrol district where he was acountsil member, so he knew how I ran my police precinct. So when I got down to brief and oneHollan as curty issues, he asked me if I take the chief job, so I wascompletely off guard. In fact I turned it down. I don't know I didn't I didn'tWat. I was a civil service. Employee E had sixteen years in the governmentsystem and no chief last had lasted more than oneterm, so I would have lost my retirement. So I had no interest inbeing the chief so over the series of a couple of weeks in a lot of pressurefrom mayor Fency, who really did a amazing job in Washington, he was actually able to change the lawto protect my retirement for me to take the chiefs job. So I went in therethinking I'd, be the chief for three or four years and I'd be gone, and I eneup saying for three mayors and ten years: woset new precedents all overthe place, emarriage yeah! Well that had to be a when you first walk intoher, that's like so when I was a rookie and the coach in front of the wholeteam, never told me, and he just goes hey. We got a new starting quarterbackWek this week, I'm sitting the front. READE Goes Gust, you're going to be ourstarter, and I was like what this is crazy. You know and then all of asudden I've never had that much media attention. In one day it was notabsolutely insane and you're like Y R breath is taken away. So I can imaginewhat it's like when the mayror called you in, and you have no idea and he'slike yeah right, Wa Yeod to be the next chief chief yeah, the Fr and the firstwoman ever right, crazy. It was. It was really crazy and and like you, I'm sureyour feelings were when you take that job. You can't blow this Rightyou can'tlet the guy down. He just put you in a really important position, and so when I finally did accept the joband Ironicil the advice fom, my mother was the best advice I got. I hadinitially said. I didn't want to take the job and then my mom was like. OhYeah. You don't want that job. She thought about it for a few days and shesays I'm, no, I'm not. I can't I can't useclusswords on here right. It's afree Fr it's a free fro, so my mom she thinks about it. She saysyou know therare flashind, all the candidates on the TV and who theythought the new chief is GOINTA, be my mom says you know. If you don't takethis job, you never know what asshole you might be working for exactly, andthat was really good advice, righbut, so yeah, but the first thought I hadwas: I can't let this this mayor down. He has enough confidence in me to puthimself out there because he really got a lot of criticism for for picking. Youknow a female, a female was sixteen years on the job. I was thirty nineyears old. That was just unheard of at the time, so he really went out on Lem.To put me in that position, and I wasn't going to let him down. That wasthe big pressure for me is that you know let me just get through this fouryears and not let this mayor down right right and then I well. Obviously, heknew your background like and how hard you worked and how you change things,and- and I mean just from gay- that I read in your history- about how DCchanged from the time you were started as chief to the end in the crime rateand everything else. I mean it's just an amazing amazing story, anddefinitely you get Kudos for all that because I think you've seen it from you weredifferent. You saw it from the bottom to the top right Ye and you knew whatneeded to change just like when you were rookie and you saw those riotsright away. Yeameanyo know I like everybody else right, then you alwaysyour whole career. Wherever you work, you always have this list of thingsthat you would fix. If you were in charge, never know I an be in charge right.Jave has hat list right now for the steelers. I think yes, it's too long togo over right now, yeah and the Pittsburgh Pirates. We werePire fans, so, okay, that's that list is way too long.It's pretty good. We can have twelve podcasto yeah. We, I think we just havea lot of fun on your show, though that's good yeah. No, we do it's a lotof fun and you know because I think it helps our guests as well we're not justtalking it. We don't want to bring our guess on just talk about what they'redoing. Currently we want to really find out a little bit f more about you likefor me. I'm really excited to hear about when you were doing some of theDepartment of Homeland Security and you had to work with some of the politicalside of it all I mean I can't imagine what that's like havene to work withCIA and then there's so many different entities in DC that you probably had towork with well also you're in charge of t, inaugurations and yeah hitscontrolling the protest and stuff you're. Not It's this isn't you knowMarshaltown Iowa. This is DC wheti'm, going onnoit'sa lot of politics.andything yeah tell us about that like leading through the politics with Imean, there's so many different. So what was your favorite? What was yourwork? What was your least favorite? So I'd have to say: Thereis there werethings that I saw. I used to tell...

...people being a police offier,especially in the nation's capital. It's like going to the movies every dayyou see things every single day that the averagumant being will never see,and there was some amazing things. I was able to witness being there all those years. The time that I was in specialoperations evision, I managed all those big events in the city. I'd have to say:Obama's first Andauguration was one of the most incredible things. I've everseen from the night of election. You N, I'm the chief. I had been the SDcommander for years, so I planned two inaugurations, so I planning anidaration didn't bother me at all. I was it's a a lot of work, but it's youknow. I knew that drill and the night that abotto was elected. I ironicalhly was home early. That nightwas about ten thirny half just get ma go of bed and I look to flash the news on. I look atthe news and I see all these people flooding in the streets of Adams,Morgan, the bar Ar all the bars just like emptied into the streets, and thenI saw you know news carerage of people just like walking across the bridgefrom Virginia and to DC and there's like thousands of people descending onthe White House. I'm like what that you know so, like I get in a cruiser, and Icall my assistant cheep, I said, meet me down the White House and we had justsent out letters to two thousand police departments Omig, and so we bring inabout two thousand outside cops to help us with a niaration. So we just sentout our letters to Alhese police departments, to breakg two housand copsand- and we got to the White House and he got tme car with me, and I was like you need about two thousand moreletters, because we do not have enough people for this amiuration and reallytwo million people. If you think about the infrastructure of Warston DC, youshouldn't be able to get two million people into the city and we did it andwe did and was just an amazing thing. As far as you could see a sea of peopleon every major roadway, just a see of people, it was amazing thing and we hadno, no bad insiance t it was no fights. Thete was no arrest. There was no. Itwas just an amazing thing that was my favorite. I think so how many differentgroups have to work together. I mean secret Har War, everything, the ArmportThi Sai, the inagural committee. That starts about two years out. Theinagural committee has about thirty seven different agencies on it. Now,just in Warsston DC alone, there's multiple juriticons people will tellyou, there's thirty five different law inportement agencies in DC, right, I'mgoing to say, Ou the truth. The truth is, there are thirty five differentagencies that have LAWG enforcement authority, the capital police, forexample, police, the capital right. Eighteen hundred cops, they police thecapital, W Yeah Supreme, cort police, they police theSupreme Corps, the men police, they policed the mince right. So there's alot of building type police ht. There is the United States Park Police, thepolice is the federal parks and then there is emetro transit police to police thirjurisdictions. I was teasing, their Jersix is onher miles, long and thirtyfeet lige. But if you do nine undred and oneyou're going to get me Ghriht, we were the the law infortement agency in thecity. But that being said, every single day weworked with secret service because we move the potes, the vpotis president,vice president forn Hads e state. So every day the caal police park, police,secret service and NPD. We S arm. It was our motors, the DC plice'smotorcycles, that that were the motor B and fror the presidential hiration.Every time you see the presidential metocade move, it was our motorcyclesthat Erin the lead and we worked with capital Park and Secen Serv. So there'sno room for Egos. There really is no room for Egos when you've got to relyon each other, the way we had or line each other. If you stand on thePennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in the street you're inMyjoristiction, you step up on the right curve: Ot Lafiette Park, you'rein United States parklease territory, if you step up on the other Curbyu inthe secret service, is territory. So in one block you get three TuristictionsGen Youa the umbrella over thall right like ract. So but there is some, thereis some little duances. So if there's a protest in Lafyette Park and thecapital plice Evich people from the park, they a victtim onto each streetand then they sit down on the street and block the street now they're in myterritor, so you really going to have some pretty good negotiation skillsright right. Exactly I mean that's. Those stories are amazing. I can't evenimagine what you've seen in your years in DC. Well also the cases to she'ssome of the Yeah National Ka. You know, Thi Bellwanaper was you were that wasNOI Tieo Thi Nier. I was actually distict commander and district, wherethe one homicide that happened in the district was in my district right onGeorgia, Avenow Wow, that was Z, so it seems, like the AB thing, should be pretty simple:'ll be a semhe's easybut, so you go through all this I mean you've had aamazing career in DC, so many accolates you've helped so many peoplechangetheir lives change how they think about...

...the police. Sure from when you startedto win your end. That was probably one of your goals. Yes, oh absolutely Imean you know, I think that there's a lot of police ofcers out there n inplacing is kind of one of those very culture, tradition, driven things, andI love the whole tradition of it. But we got to change. We have to changethe way we do things, and I think that for me I always found that we, we got better information and we weremore successful if we talked a little bit more and integrated a little bitmore with people in the community, because even some of the bad guys Imean where o you get information on criminals right from other criminals,if you're not talking to them, you're not going to get it, and so it's partof you know kind of just changing the culture, and I think that really went along way to help us close crimes and when you, when you rest people that arecommitting violent crimes, they tikually are committing quite a few ofthem. So crime goes down just by the nature of the fact that you get thosehigh. You know high end ofenders that are doing a lot of crime right andyou've been on. All sides that you were you know when you were in the drug are partof t it right. You were WHICD, Ou decided. I did ARCOICS ORVEHICE ARhomicide. I did YEA oversall detectives managedetectives, so yeah been a iit in the plice department. What is differentbetween a detective and a police like you know, one has more power or not titleIo'twell. So no I shouldn't say it really is a very different skill andyou really have to have a passion for it. Petectives are so the UNIW fom police, offier S, theones they're the fir true first responders when the man wifh, the gunis standing out there and somebody's downline on one or there's a shootingor staving going on the uniform cups go in and they stop that crime. Theyinteract in the most dangerous situations. The detectives come afterthe fact I like Tho teace detectives, because you know they have a very highprofile thing. You know they come after all the dangers gone right: Ean they dotheir investigation and they're, not ati, usually to yeah and aebut. It's ait's a difficult job. It's not easy and we have detectives that work in Child Exploitation and detectives hatwork on homicide. It's a IT'S GROOLING! It's a cooling job, it's very difficult!You need a special skill to do it and it's reallyhard on those guys. So as much as I' like to pick on them, they do a goodjob. No, have you seen a lot of? I mean,obviously in your in that field, you're going to see alot of PTSD and trauma and not everybody handles differentsituations. The same does that kind of predict, em kind of where they'll go inthe police force. Yeahi tell you you most most people t at that. Can't thatdon't deal well with it will be gone in the first five years. They won't staylong. We get a lot of officers wash out in the first two years. I think people that remain in policingtheir passion drives them to what there's so many different things thatyou can do in police work. I mean there's Teres narcotics, work. There'syou know donal enforcement Juvenil reform, sothe a lot of different things hat you do and people tipoty tend to go wheretheir skill is what they have a passion for doing, but it does take a toll andwe have as requirements in the police where, like most all police farmers do.If you're involved in a critical incident, we've had some prettyhorrific homicide scenes. You know entire familes children. Any of thosecases that are really difficult. Mall homicizes are tough but thereare. Somethat are much worse. So we require them to. We have anemployee assistance program with psychologist on staff and, if you'reinvolved in a shooting, for example, or something like that you're required togo through those mandatory sessions, cops all hated, but they all sayafterwards that they a Gad. They did it because it makes a difference. If youhave to take care of your employees, you can take care of yourself,otherwise you're not going to be affecteve police officer right right.Well, can you tell how exactly now you went from chief of police and DC toyou'R in the NFL as head of security like what's that transition? How doesthat happen, and like was that years in the making, or was that kind of likewhen you became cheap, Er poleise or like lit? No, you know I just like. I never thought I'd be thechief of police. I never thought I'd be working in the NFL. I I had the third. The third mayor had justcome in Mayor Balser, who I liked all the mayors. I worked for they're allvery different, but I liked them all, and I just met with her and a fewmonths earlier, and I told I'd stay with her as long as she was in. Sheasked me if I'd stay during the transpand, I told her. I would I lovedmy job. I, in fact I couldn't stand the thought of thinking about what am Igoing to do when I'm not a police officer anymore. So I never thoughtabout leaving never looked for other jobs and then...

...we kind of joked around on my commandstaff, because we're at will you can get fired and aays Jus say I'm anmostone bad traffic, stop away from losing my job right. Somebody can pick a badtrammics op today and the chiefs got to go yeah and having been ten years in that job,I knew that at any time I might not have a sayin and I might not have a job,and so I got a letter from the NFL saying that they were looking for achief, Ecurty Olicer and I probably shouldn't tell you his, butit was really kind of funny. When I got the letter, I was kind of showing usall my assistant shees, just to tease them because they're all huge footballfans and, like Oh, my God, you've got to paink that job, but I really didn'thave any intention of applying and going through the process and then oneof my closest friends who was also in a chief level position said. Look younever know. When was last time you had a job, itever iew. Why don't you justgo through the process to see what it's like, because you know last time Ijoben her. He was twenty seven years ago. Right so maybe might not be a badidea. So so I decided to go to the process and I sixteen interviews herein New York, sixtee tit, was kind of hard to hide that from the mayor when Ihad to make four trips to New York and do sixteen interviews, it lasted eachday. It was here all day and then after the fourth round ofinterviews appear on my way home. I was talking to my boyfriend on the phoneand he says I think they're going to offer. You A job- and I said, they'renot going to offer me a job, but up until that the moment that I got thejob off Er. I never really thought about leaving. It was really just kind of goingthrough practicing an interview for me, but I did become very intrigued withthe league with some of the people I met here and what they're trying to do,and I identified a lot with the challenges here I mean you know I don'thave to tell you. Everything that happens in the league is a big deal. RiIt's. If it happens in any other sport, it might get. You know one line ofcoverage. If it happens in the league, it's going to be on TMZ, it's going tobe in the post. It's going to be. You know it's in its playe over and overand over again right. So it really magnifies every little thing. But whenI was in DC please it was. It felt the same way. You know when you're, whenyou're, the chief in Washington DC, everything that happens in DC isnational news right. It could happen in Fairfax County or it happened in PrinceGordas county next to us. You might see one line on the back of the paper, butit happens if you sees so I kind of appreciated what they were trying to do and thespolight that they're in and and the commistery you know look I was Achievin,please. I know you take the blame for everything and just looking at how muchheat the commissioner takes hes blame for everything right. I can appreciatewhat what the challenges are here. So you know by the time they made me thejob offer I was. I was pretty intrigued by the offer here and you know Ithought probably better to go on my terms and away until somebody tells metime for me to find a door. So so I think it's also she's not just workingwith curret players, the former players. As a former player. We can also callthe NFL and say: Hey, I'm gotta work with this company. Can you dobackground check for me? Can you find out information about me so actuallyday? I can find out some information by you that you probably don't even knowyourself. Do we have an ex question ookay? He already had me. Do that work day,I'm still here so it could have emayou. Just poin, though my philosophy, here too,is that I think our primary job, it doesn't get the press, but our primaryjob is to protectthe players. You know the only thing people want to talkabout as a player getting in trouble and because it's so magnified andplayed over and over and over again it makes it look like a lot of players aregetting in trouble and it's really just a really really small number ofinstance, and if we can do everything we can to protect them because moreoften than not players are the victims, not the offeners. You know they takenadvantage of quite a bit, and so I think for us you know I'd love tochange the perception that out there, that that there's just huge number ofplayers that are doing bad things it really isn't and that we are here to to provide somesort of help for them. When we can so anything still, it's amazing, but yousee like a player of his house is broken into, is stuff is stolen. Youknow, and then that like maybe gets that night of news or somebody coversit, and if he's not a top player, they probably don't cover it at all. Theydon't really. The media doesn't really care, but you know if you are a top playerand something like that happens to you. It still goes away so fast. They wantto know th the dirt, like I saw I coached a player that you probably hadto deal with. Zeku Eliot IV coached, the Zecuo in high school, and I'malways like just keep your nose claing. You don't have to do that stuff. Youknow what I mean like your Careeris, very short as a running back and justdo what you can and it's like. Okay, now he's in trouble again come on Sekand they're playng, like you said, he's on tmcs everywhere else it's like, buthe's. I know him. I've known him to He's a little kid and just keep yournose clean and you're a great kid. Just be who you are, but the hard part is toI mean they're young right, they're,...

...they young and there's a lot of peoplethat you know are looking to take advantage of things. So a lot of thingscan get them in a bad position, and you know I mean I I started off this wholeconversation whene. I made some bad decisions when I was young, you knowwhen you're young, you just don't make the best decisions sometimes, and sohopefully we can provide some service here from the Security Rond, where wecan help them upfront make better decisions right, if you think about itlike if, when you got out of the academy- and they said- oh here's- yourrookie contract- we're going to give you five million dollars. It's likeokay, it's hard not to get inte well I's like you want to go, have some fun.Well, it's off a Gan that it's the their surrounding cast, that's causingthe trouble, but they're the face of that as yeah. You know, and when you'reyoung, you don't realize you'll play association. That is true. That's verytrue DA, very true. I just want to ask you laushing about the interviewprocess, so sixteen interviews is the last one with the Commissioner Orit Li.It was it really Eybu. Do you know what h like after it's over o shake handsand you? When do you find out? you go t e job at that point, so I found outabout three days after that last set of interviews, which was the and he wasthe last arve before I left yeah Oyou. Remember like you're the toughestquestion he asked you. Actually he he was a great person toeverve with he made me feel very comfortable. I mean. Obviously I cameinto this series of interviews not feeling a lot of pressure because I hada job. I wasn't necessarily looking for a job, and so I didn't feel a lot ofstress, but then going in to meet the Commissiner y little stress he's just a very downedearth guy seemsvery genuine and you o he had a real grasp of thesecurity issues which I really wasn't expecting. I kind of expected thecommissioner not to know a whole lot about. What I would see is challengesfor security, but he did so. I was pretty impressed now how about when youhad to resign from the from the DC department. What was that like Shouve,been there so long I'll? Never ever ever. Forget that it so the the momentthat I made a decision to accept tedawm. Soagain, everything that I did was very high profile. I'm sure Terry will tellyou the press literally stalked me so last thing I wanted is for the mayorthis to get out and the mayor to find out any other way other than from me.So the first before I gave the hundred percent go ahead to the league. I saidI want want to go talk with a mayor, because I like her very much and Ireally respected her, so I called her up and asked her. She can meet me,which I never did. We met almost daily anyway, but I called her and Aser tomeet with me, so she knew I think she knew something was up and I'll ner Rforget. I sat down on her office and she said: What's the matter and I said:Well, I've accepted another position. I W ntI'm going to leave and take another Dun. She looked at me and she says I thinkI'm going to throw up, but if you think about it for a mayor, the most important positions for you ispolice chief, fire chief schools, chancellor, those are the three thingsthat will make her break you, ind government and having somebody that's experience.Hat's been there for a while in any of those. Three positions is a charm trying Somei knew because the communityand the poliiticians and the council and everybody are so sensitive topersonnel to have to find somebody else as a tough thing. So I felt reallyreally bad about it. But I'll never forget that that day, because I have somuch respect for her to tell her that and then, but her next statement wasgood for you, so Ri what e her next question was. Who would you hire yeah? She did ask for for my opinion onthat. Yes, yeah, I'm sure I would too yeah yea right. I would too so it's just an amazing experience thatyou've had how many years have you been with the NFL. Now three next week, three Eria two superbowls you've been through three actually because I came on for Houston.So what is that I mean? I never played a one, but I've been tothem with my kids because they ally want to go and and going throughsecurity and and what it's like when the NFL takes over a city, but I can'timagine what Yeur team has to do to go in and prep for that city. You knowwhat do your preparations begin for the Super Bowl, because ilaits te years twoyears out so we are, we are now we're playing Miami and Tampa. So Iwould tell you I would' you never get. These words come out of my mouth otherthan this one scenario. I was a little cocky. I thought, because I planedpresidential annigurations in Washington that the super bowl was awalk in the park. Let me tell you this: rroll is not a walk in the park. I meanthis. Is You know twenty six or twenty? Sevendifferent venues over ten days and literally you you knot it we take overthe entire city. It is a massive security challenge and it's not only amassive security challenge. You think...

...it's tough, providing security for thepresident of the United States provide security for the high profile. NFLfolks- and you know all those others are come along with super bowl right,and so everybody comes to super bowl. So it's a huge huge undertaking. Wespent about two years into planning and the difficult part is the anagurationhappens in the same place. Every year my footprint was the same with somesmall exceptions for inaugurables. The E don't want to different places andit's about three days of events. So it's exhausting and it's a differentfootprant every time. So you start from scratch every superbowl. So it's a lot of work. It's a lot ofwork, but it's exciting and there's nothing. I tell you, people ask me, youknow: How do you go from being the chief of police in the nation's capitalto do anything else and make it feel important and there's this great video that I sawwhen I first got here. It's a it's a three minute, long video when it'snothing but snap shots from every singer, super bowl all the way throughand they show you know the entertainers. You see you know neal diamond, and youknow that they play the music that that's from those different periods,and these great plays you know tha the best plays from every suboal and whenyou watch that video you see, everybody from Babbl has the Mickey Mouse to Michael Jackson. I mean everybody who'sever been anybody presidents, if that doesn't show you how important football is toAmerica. You know that' protecting, that's not important. Nothing really isthat's part of who we are and when you watch that video it's like now, I getwhy this is just as important is my last job. Well also, what is ther bout?A billion viewers worldwide do yeah it's you know it's such a! No case yourprobably Atto Tipe cyver security and everything. Yes, I have Cyrus Kiddy,also yeah, and I tell you: that's you think about how big this job reallyis. It's just looking at the cybre component ofit. You know with digital media with you know, all of the you know, digitalgaming now associated with it we're doing thohundres of hundreds of domainsassociated with nflcom. So the the three hundred and sixty degree look atwhat security is here is really pretty massive, so it took all the cockinessaway from me really quickly when I got here well, if, if you see like cutdleup come across your desk with a little using the NFL logo, just kind of pushthat one aside, don't don't worry about themset your mother on it yeah just sayyour bok o Thats Tas, my new holder there but y. We I understand that morethan anybody after all these years in the NFL, but because, if you have cibersecurity, we spoke wor Fandal, we had somebody from fandol come on and thesports betting. I mean just to protect the players from not getting caught inthat trap. Gaming Integrity is important. You know, Stadium Security, so all thestadiums we set to standar for all the security for all of the stadiums. Sowhat the physical security standards are and now Cyrus coule standards, teremandated that we enforce all the special events. You know super bowlprobo combine draft. Those are all ours. The League the League manages Thosgh,so that in its entirety, is ours to manage. So you know all the things from fair competition toI mean you name it. I mean there's a lot of things that that fall into thisinvestigations. It's just a it's a it took all thecociness at of me, ING which, which staff was bigger, the DC police or theNFL DC, please by far yeah head counts, head counts, counts, different in theprivate sector, yeah fivesand employees and fiveardemployees, an ds o. You personally make a teach stadium each year or every sooften to see. What's going on in turn, Oh yeah yeah that I'm Aa I'm a veryhands on operational person. I my first season here I came mid September and Ihit nineteen statumas my first year during the season so which os Iliterally every Sunday Mondy Thursday. Well Ilike different ones for different reasons. I think Green Bay has one of the neateststadiums, its just dropped right down the middle of this neighborhood and ifyou go there and October and you look at the yourstanding up on the top deck and you look out o the neighborhood with allthe leaves changing on all the tailgaters and everybody's front yards.It's just. I mean that's just an amazing place. Hat just feels verydistalgin for football to me and then you go to the newer stadiums.You know forty niners and Atlanta. You know they're, so technologicallyadvanced Y, a you can sit in your seat and order. What you want from yourphone- and you know so like Hem, for different reasons. yetept forchickfully on Sunday in Atlanta, yeah cawell really were the like. You werementionin where the stadium sit within...

...relationship to the city and everythinglike Pittsburgh maybe tricky, because you got the river right next to thestadium and there's all kinds of stuff. I know our friend as a Bon offen birdand t he went ton park a little too close. ANDFL security made him moveback n yeah. We got a plone call like three minutes, he'San Instant, so thatWasi saw the draft ID. You see the draft in Nashville, we were, the stagewas backed up against the river and we wanted that buffer zone on the river.So the coastcuard came out and did the buffer zone for us to Mamein sixhundred osend people from for draft I mean it was amazing. IIT was crazy andMi tell it poured down rain and those people just stood there yeah. Iremember it pouring down Raih I'd rather stand in a rain, though thanwhen I went to super bowl in Minnesota, and it was like. Mi is twenty every daythat was, I hear you and I had one of those jobs where I had to be outside. It was cold. Well, after the game, Iwent to the game with Ryan Fitz, Patrick. We took our sons and then wewere leaving and somehow we just got outside right away. Instead of takinglike the walk walkways: crazy, tosiaround, minis, twenty egree weatherafter the football game and we're like okay, where do we go now? We gotta go,find some wmore warm. Our kids were freezing. It was absolutely intesane.It was amazing to me I didn't know until the Super Bowl on Minneapoli setactually ice forms in your nose when you breathe, you literally have iceforming in your nose. When you read outside so yeah, it's a different kindof cold, it's definitely different chenical. You know what I'm really sadabout is they're tearing down RFK yeah. You know that was my favoritestadium. I've ever played it is that right, yeah I mean I loved it. When Iplayed there and the hogs were there and the band was there and thebleachers would be bouncing. I played the cowboys there, the last game everin FK and just some memory ou something I'll. Never Forget. I love that place.We used to work those games, I'm sure you did I'm Tue. Yes, we DIDT, but I', not unningi' ro a little bitbehind hen. My schedule SN. I have them con, try and wrap up. I really enjoyddoing your show. No, we appreciate it. So Hey we do one last thing: We got twoquestions for you from our no. It's called no Hoddl, it's like or twominute. We just want to fire a couple cool questions. A So da go head. YouAla, START! Okay, if you could trade places with one person in the worlddead or alive. Who would that be for one day? Oh, my goodness. NEVER THOUGHT ABOUTTHAT! o Taylor, swift, t, that's a really good one being amatchvill yeah! You Go. What's your biggest pet peeve lazy people sounds like Coshrie. Now how about? What's your favorite sports movie, Oh longest yard, the new one or the oldone, the old one I haven't seen the new on Acyou. Don't you don't watch it Soti?Now I want to ask you if this isn't e kind of the same era did ou just eversee black Sunday? I did not that's a you should that would be your worstnightmare as the head of Security Tho that Al that's what S it's the cowboysteal at Super Bowl on: Seventy four and there's a limp loaded withexplosives coming over the STATEA. I winlt tell you the end thanks. Thank you, Eso more than justsomething for Yo to think about yeah thank Youitamovi Igh, so sinc Davetress you out. What do you like to do to relieve your stress? What a whatareyou hobbies you have any loves! You have! What do you? What do you like? So I'm an animal lover, so I do a lotof I used to do rescue for for dogs and handicap dogs, but I can't do that toomuch anymore, because I mi travel, but anything outdoors. I bike. I Kayak, youknow m nature lover, so gardening, you know swimming whatever anything outside hey. We want to thankyou for Joiing US Today on Huddl up with Guss, where we talkd to a widerange of guests about how supports shape to life. As always, I'm joined bymy great friend and Cohouse Dave Hager and we want you to be able to follow uson all of our social media at Huwdl up with Gus, and we really appreciate youand thank you for your time and listening to our podcast.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (139)