Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 3 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.

All right, Dave, this week this show, I should say my foot cut here in the wire, but I think it's just an amazing story who we're going to have on today, and it may not start the way most of our guests start, but it ends from somebody who tease herself working hard and doing something for others and knowing that her family is relying on her, and it's just a great story. Well, her story. She starts off from a very difficult curveball thrown at her as a as a she'd probably a sopht Warren I school. She has to adjust from that battle through that adversity and she then applies for position at the odds were against her. She excels in that position, becomes chief of police of one of the biggest metro areas in the country, most dangerous, and then advances to becoming the head of NFL security. I mean it's a truly inspiring story and she broke all kinds of barriers along the way. Well, we hear stories about sports right all the time, about an athlete who came from nothing, came from the worst situations, work their tail off, got to college, got to the whatever sport they love to play. And we hear those kind of stories all the time, but you know, to really see somebody in real I mean she was real. She was the person who had everything stacked against her and said no, I'm not going to let this happen. I got a child depending on me and we're going to go fight and we're going to figure out how to make a life. And to hear her story about how she a thousand applicants waiting in line to get a job with a police force, like you said, going through the academy, getting the in, going through the academy, and her first time out, literally, she said her first time on patrol is the riots and it's seven days straight. Right. I mean, if what courage it takes to say, okay, I'm going to go through this and do I want to say in this. I mean she was meant to be the chief right. And if I was Antonio Brown, I'd be nervous right now, right from anybody in the NFL who does something wrong currently playing. We're retired. I would be happy if I needed her. I would be sad if I did something wrong, because she's gonna be the person that is going to help you to the end. I think she's very loyal. I think she'll do whatever it takes to make everything better, but also she's gonna rule with a very iron fist. Looking forward to hearing from her so this week in the huddle with us. Ca Athi Lanier, head of security. Dave, gimme her accolates. What bears did you break? What? She's head of security for the NFL, but she was just, I think, first female had a security for the NFL, first female chief of police for the washing DC police department and served multiple terms, from which Shell Mayor's has multiple mayor's, which in that in the chief of police world is unheard of. You usually switch out with the new MARYOR. She was stayed on so well they rewrote the rule just for her so that they could keep her on from mayor after mayor after mayor, and her story about having to tell the mayor that she was leaving going to the NFL, I think that's a great story. So excited for everyone to hear about Cathy Lanier, chief of security. I think that because she was a head chief and DC, now she's a chief of security for the NFL. Yes, looking forward to it in a huddle with us. As someone who who may see the brightest and the darkest sides of the NFL and has seen that in also Washington DC, which is crazy, from a very high level, from a very high level, and I'm sure there's a lot of things that she won't be able to tell us today that we may want to know, but I'm going to be on my best behavior. Yes, yeah, okay, okay, yeah, sure, she definitely can dig into your background. Yeah, find out. We don't want to. We don't want that right. So welcome into the huddle, Cathy laneer. Cathy, thank you for joining us in a huddle and we're so excited to talk to you. Thank you for having me. My pleasure to be here. Well, you know, one of the things where we always start was when we're kids. Dave and I've obviously looked at your background and you know, we try to find something that may have sparked you, influence you or something that you remember that was positive from when you were kids. So we just kind of want to start. We kind of understand where your history was, but part of our shows telling our audience about those transitions. And it doesn't matter what happened in your life, where you come from, but if you work hard every good things can happen.

Yeah, so non traditional start for me. I grew up in a, you know, pretty rough area outside of DC, single mom. My mom raised three of us by herself. She worked very, very hard, but you know, raising three kids by yourself's not easy, especially when one of those kids with me. I was maybe a traditional teenager. So not not too smart, not making good decisions. So when I was fifteen years old I ran away from home, got married and had a son. So having the sun things. Never regret the never regret that, but maybe the runaway from home and dropping out of school things not the best decisions. So I dropped school in the ninth grade. So a couple years later I was a single mom with a ninth grade education. So kind of a rough start. But I went back to school, got a ged and started working for the DC police back when I was twenty two years old and I spent the next twenty seven years there. I went back to school, ended up with two masters CAERIES. I got a bachelors and Masters from Johns Hopkins and management while I was working and got a second master's degree in National Scurity Studies from the Naval Post Graduate School. So a bet start but a good finish, and I left DC police back in two thousand and sixteen and came to the NFL. Wow, let's it in a nutshell date. That's a nut shell for you. It is. That is quick. What I want to know, like, how did you join the Police Department? Like what mait? What' screwd you on to that? All right, this is a funny story. So I was actually working as a secretary and at waitress at the time. My only concern was going back to school myself. I was taking one class of semester at the Community College, so I would have been in school for like fifty years. I was also trying to get my son in a better school. I wanted him to go to a private school. School systems were not very good in the area where we lived. So I saw an ad in the Washington Post for the DC police in one thousand nine hundred and ninety. Now, at the time Washington DC was known as the murder capital of the world. They were in a rushed hire an extra thousand officers. So they had this advertisement in the post and what caught my atten, pension, was they offered tuition reimbursement. So if you came on as a recruit and you made a three your permisition are a year, you could go to school and they reimburse you for your tuition, for college tuition. So that's why I went down to take the test. I stood in line with thousand people to go in and take the test. Funny thing is I stood in line with a police officer who was working in a neighboring jurisdiction. We took the test after the test results came and I came in like number sixty out of a thousand people and the police officer that went with me to take the test came in like three hundred and fifty. So what kind of kind of questions would they ask you on the test? Oh, you know, police exams at the time. Gosh, this was thirty years ago. We're so bizarre. And you know, show you photographs of a of a steam like an image in a bank, and you get like thirty seconds to look at this image and then it's like, what do you remember from that image? What time was it on the clock? You know, what can you describe the you know, the people in the room, and then you know some academic questions, you know, and then let's see, you can read and write, you know, police reports and testimony and things like that. So I scored well on the test. I got hired very quickly and you know, my first day on the job literally when I got out of the Academy, my first day out of the academy, I went to an area of the city called Mount Pleasant and it was the first day of seven days of riots. So when I got to work, my first daiding go home for seven days and they looted and burned and torched our police cars and I had to really do some soul searching to decide if that was worth my college tuition. Well, that's yeah, that seven days is going to let you know if you love your job or not. That's for sure. Yes, yes, yeah, that's not handing up working tickets as a rookie. Yeah, well, actually it was. I loved it. I love the job. I think that's one of the things that made me realize that I did love the job honestly. Not not the fact that we were in that situation, but it was a real sign of what was missing and policing. We had very poor relationships with this community. It was a largely a Latino community very alienated from the police and this whole riot was, you know, long time coming, and so to me it was an obvious sign that we needed to change some of the things that we did in policing and and you know, I loved being part of it. Right. So that sparked for you to kind of I mean, how old were you when you had your son? Fifteen, you said, fefteen. Yeah, Fifteen. So then it was still twenty two. Two. You went to the Academy for so those years you were kind of searching. You said, what am I going to do? I'm sure you went through some tough times and tough mental decisions. Yeah, we all have and in our lives. So what was that thing that brought you out that said I got to go do the I'm sure it was your...

...son. But well, I actually I tell you about three weeks after my so when at the time when my son was born, I had never even baby set or held an infant or so I knew nothing about, you know, being a mother. And about three weeks after my son was born out I remember waking up. It was such a good baby. He slept in a crib at the foot of my bed and he would just wake up in the morning and just wait for me to wake up, so I'd wake up, he just be looking at me and quietly, you know, never cry. And so I remember waking up was one morning, about three weeks after he was born, and looking at him, staring at me, and I went only smokes. You know, his whole life depends on me and I can't provide for him without an education and without a good job, and and I wasn't going to have either where I was. So that's the the day I made a decision to go back to school and get my ged and then from there I just every decision I made from that day forward. Really I work two jobs. I was a secretary and a waitress so I could get myself in school and get him to in a better school. I mean, every decision was about, you know, raising your family. That's just what you do. And you know, now, on the other end of my life, it's about taking care of my mother, because she's old and independent and ill. So now I do everything really to take care of her right, right, and then we raise our kids to hopefully love us and want to take care of us some day. Yes, I tell him, I say that's what I told my son, not a daughter exactly. My sons don't go for that, but I always tell my daughter she's in vet school with pain, and so I'm like, okay, one day you're going to have to take care of his shoes. Yeah, that's happened to dad. I'm like OK, yeah, my son assures me he'll put me in a very nice place right exactly as what my boys say to take care of you dad. I'm like, what does that mean? But so what's the process? I was just curious about the police academy and stuff like that. You score really well on your on your test. How are they? Are you told immediately that you're very viable candidate and then, Oh God, ie up for how does that work? Like no, Gosh now. So it was about a five month process. I do background checks. You have to go through a physical agility so you have to pass a physical agility test. You have to be able to pass a background of course, a lot of medical screening to make sure you're you know, you don't have any physical things that will help bring no prying. Your eyesight's got to be good. You gotta be a witness. You might need to see well so. So what's about a sixmonth process? And you know, I went through the process and then the academy was another nine months and then, you know, a lot of people wash out the academy. So that the academy was tough. Yes, it was tough. So I had lunch with a psychologist here the other day and he's a psychologist for the Pittsburgh police and he was telling me everything that they do where they actually give polygraph tests, yes, and psychology, you know, reports and all the background checks and everything you were mentioning. And he said it's, I think he said here in Pittsburgh it's six months for them to go. It's ruling. I mean it really is a ruling process. The the psychological exam, the day you go for your psychological exam, it's a seven hour process. It is a seven an hour you know, there's a lengthy written portion to it and even for the polygraph you have to fill out a you know, a book and literally have to call out a book before the polygraph. So it's a it's a lengthy process. I think the five or so months that it took me to get in was accelerated because DC was in a crime emergency when they were hiring, they were in a rust to hire. I wasn't. I was a minorready. It was the only white female in the room of a thousand applicants. Then the city at the time is eighty nine percent African American. The Police Department was ninety percent African American and and eighty percent male. So it was a tough environment when I started. Yeah, I mean ember playing for the Redskins when I started there in ninety four and they would tell us like it's you get lost in these certain areas, don't stop and stop sign just just keep going. Like get pulled over by the police, that's fine and will help you, but don't like get lost, go ask for directions and and do all that. And those were kind of conversations we used to have when we play the redskins back in the day. So my first year on the job in one thousand nine hundred and ninety had four hundred and seventy nine homicides, and that's in a city at the time the population was about five hundred and fifty thousand. That's incredible. I'm it's an incredible murder rate. That is that is no, you were in the police force for what? Twenty seven years, he said. Twenty seven years. Yes, twenty seven years. You know what it takes to get through the academy like for me, I know what it takes to get to the NFL as a player, and there were always guys like going. I'm saying to myself, how the hell did this guy make it here? You know what I mean? Like you're like he's missing something, you can tell, but he made it for some reason. Have you ever encountered people like that in the enforce you like say, you know, maybe it's the same with with football. I mean I have found in my I have two brothers, one's a fireman, ones a police officer. My...

...father was a firefighter. So I have found in uniform services 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 and whatever, you know, as long as you do the job. And so I started in police work. Most of the women on the department were very quickly pigeonholed into, you know, working in youth division or being a deaf sergeant or, you know, doing one of those administrative jobs, because many of them had children and so they wanted that day work kind of thing. I stayed in patrol, I stayed in Betrom my whole career. I you know, I'm when I got pressure to move to other those other jobs. I always say, looking, I came here to be a police officer and that's what I want to be. I don't. I did come here to be a secretariat and come here to be, you know, a youth counselor. I came here to be a police officer. So I think very quickly people in the uniform services, because you reply, you rely on each other so much for your own safety out there. Yeah, that once they see that that's your mentality, that you come to work and you do the job. I've never had any issue, you know, as I work my way up through the ranks, I never never managed a unit or did a job that I asked people to do, a job that I haven't done and and I wouldn't go out and do with them today. Right. So I think that makes all the difference in the world just because of the nature of the work we do. You got to rely on each other and if they don't trust you, they don't trust you. Right. Yeah, you guys have a good sniffer. They can tell right away, like you know, you just knew we had fifty three guys. So if we lost our left tackle, we knew whatever the next guy was, what's what we were dealing with and we had no other choice. But you're in a whole different line of work. But you you, you probably have that sixth sense that knows, like you know, I got to be careful this. They're green or they're rookie and we got to bring them along slow or whatever it is. It will tell us about your ascension, because you rose to the top of the force and just like, how did that work? Who was your first promotion and how that could so for for most police departments it's a civil service exam. So you have to take a written exam and it's a it's a series of exams. You take a written exam and they do a assessment. So like in a verbal assessment, I you become eligible to for the first rank at Sartin. So with three years on, I applied for the sergeant exam for US Large Police Department. When I went in to take this harden's exam, I was competing with eight hundred and ninety five people. I'm it was a big big promotion. We Convention Center to take the test. I studied hard because I as a single mom, I wanted to make more money and star didn't. It's emotion, so it's more money. So I studied. I came out the thirteen on that test. I got promoted right away. You're eligible promotions every two years after that. So I took every promotional exam all on. So five years I made the tenant, seven years I made captain and then everything above the rank of captain is appointed, which means that there has the very limited number of command level positions. So I got my first appointed rank with just under nine years on. And so they eight and a half years and I took over the major arcotics branch. So I ran major in narcotics for a couple of years. Then I got promoted again and I took two years later and I took over a patrol district, very violent area of the city, and then two years after that I took over, well, right after nine hundred and eleven, I took over a special operations divisions. So I ran the bomb squad and harbor helicopter dignitary protection. We did the executive protection for the president, vice president foreign has a state and I did all the demonstrations and protests in Washington DC for a long time and I created our home and screuity counter terism bureau in the department and so I spent five years there and then chief after that ten years of job. So what was that like when you first did somebody kind of give you a little clue that hey, they're thinking about you is chief, or do they just come and tell you? How does that? How does that work? It was a very bizarre circumstance for me. So normally the and this is in ninety nine percent of the police partments scrossed country, either they'll take somebody who is directly below the chief, an assistant chief, from with an apartment, or they will go outside. Typically they'll go outside and bring it outside your chief in. If there's corruption or there's some problems in the department, you need an outsider to come in and do some reform. So there was a lot of speculation. Chuck Ramsey was the chief of the time. He had been the chief and deputy chief in Chicago before coming to us, and so when Chuck Ramsey was going to leave it so for us, since you're pointed by the mayor. The average police chief last three years. In our hundred and fifty six year history in Washington we've never had a police chief that's served more than one mayor. Every time there's a new mayor, there's a new chief. Mayors like to point their own chiefs. So I was two ranks down. I was a commander at the time. It's commander of home and security and counter terrorism. So my name was never brought up by anybody. It was never mentioned. They were speculating all kinds of speculation is who the chief was going to be. And right after the primary elections, Adrian fenty, who was elected to...

...be the incoming mayor, contacted me and asked me if I'd come down and brief him on home in security issues. I knew the mayor when he was a council member. I used to run the patrol district where he was a council member, so he knew how I ran my police precinct. So when I got down to brief them one Holland security issues, he asked me if I take the chiefs job. So I was completely off guard. In fact I turned it down. I don't know I did. I didn't want to. I was a civil service employee, had sixteen years in the governments system and no chief last head lasted more than one term. So I would have lost my retirement. So I had no interest in being the chief. So over the series of a couple of weeks, in a lot of pressure from mayor fenty, who really did an amazing job in Washington, he was actually able to change the law to protect my retirement for me to take the chiefs job. So I went in there thinking I'd be the chief for three or four years and I'd be gone, and I know up staying for three mayors and ten years. Wow, set new precedents all over the place. A married yeah, well, that had to be a when you first walk into here. That's like. So when I was a rookie and the coach in front of the whole team never told me and he just goes hey, we got a new starting quarterback week this week, I'm sitting the front road he goes gusts, you're going to be our starter, and I was like what, this is crazy, you know, and then all of a sudden I've never had that much media attention in one day. It was absolutely insane. And you're like your breath is taken away. So I can imagine what it's like when the mayor called drew in and you have no idea and he's like, you know what, you to be the next chief chief of yeah, the front in, the first woman ever. Right, crazy it was. It was really crazy and and like you, I'm sure your feelings were when you take that job, you can't blow this right, you can't let the guy down. He just put you in a really important position. And so when I finally did accept the job, and I ironically, the advice from my mother was the best advice I got. I had initially said I didn't want to take the job and then my mom was like, Oh, yeah, you don't want that job. She thought about it for a few days and she says, I don't know, I'm not I can't. I can't use cuss words on here right. Yeah, it's a free for all, too free for all. So my mom see thinks about it. She says, you know, they're flash and all the candidates on the TV who they thought the new chief is going to be? My mom says, you know, you know, take this job. You never know what asshole you might be working for. Exactly and that was really good advice, right. But so, yeah, but but what the first thought I had was, I can't let this, this may or down. He has enough confidence in me to put himself out there, because he really got a lot of criticism for for picking, you know, a female, a female was sixteen years on the job. I was thirty nine years old. That was just unheard of at the time. So he really went out on them to put me in that position and I wasn't going to let him down. That was the big pressure for me, is that, you know, let me just get to this four years and not let this mayor down right right. And then, well, obviously he knew your background like and how hard you worked and how you change things and and I mean just from day that. I read in your history about how DC change from the time you were started as chief to the end, and the crime rate and everything else. I mean it's just an amazing, amazing story and definitely you get Kudos for all that because I think you've seen it from you were different. You saw it from the bottom to the top, right yes, and you knew what needed to change, just like when you were rookie and you saw those riots right away. HMM, yeah, I mean that. You know, I'm like everybody else, right. Didn't you always your whole career, where every work you always have this list of things that you would fix if you were in charge right, never knowing and be in charge right? Dave has that list right now for the steelers. I think. Yes, it's too long to go over right now, but yeah, and the Pitts Work Pirates. We were pirate fans. So okay, that's that list is way too long. It's pretty rely. We can have twelve podcasts. Yeah, we I think we just had seen a lot of fun on your show though. That's good. Yeah, no, we do. It's it's a lot of fun and you know, because I think it helps our guests as well. We're not just talking at we we don't want to bring our guests on it just talk about what they're doing currently. We want to really find out a little bit more about you, like, for me, I'm really excited to hear about when you were doing some of the Department of Homeland Security and you had to work with some of the political side of it all. I mean, I can't imagine what that's like, having to work with CIA and then there's so many different entities in DC that you probably had to work with. Well, all, so you're in charge of the inaugurations and, yeah, controlling the protests and stuff. You're not. It's this isn't you know, Marshalltown Iowa? This is DC. We're a lot going on. It's a lot of politics, anythink? Yeah, tell us about that, like leading through the politics with I mean there's so many different so what was your favorite? What was your work? What was your least favorite? So I'd have to say they're was there were things that I saw. I used to tell people being a police officer,...

...especially in the nation's capital, it's like going to the movies every day. You see things every single day that the average human being one never see, and there was some amazing things I was able to witness being there all those years, the time that I was in special operations of vision, I manage all those big events in the city. I'd have to say Obama's first inauguration was one of the most incredible things I've ever seen. From the night of election, you know, I'm the chief, I had been the the sod commander for years, so I planned to inaugurations. So I planning an aaguration didn't bother me at all. I was it's a lot of work, but it's you know, I knew the drill. And the night that Obama was elected, I ironically was home early that night is about and I was just getting ready go to bed and I look at the flash the news on. I look at the news and I see all these people flooding in the streets of Adams Morgan, the bar are all the bars just like emptied into the streets. And then I saw, you know, news coverage of people just like walking across the bridge from Virginia and the DC and just like thousands of people descending on the White House and I'm like what the you know? So I get in the cruiser and I call my assistant chief. I said meet me down the White House and we had just sent out letters to two thousand police departments. We're so we bring in about twozero outside cops to help us with Aguration. So we just sent out our letters to always police departments to bring to thou the cops in and we got to the White House and I he got in the car with me and I was like you need about two thousand more letters because we do not have enough people for this anniration. And really, two million people. If you think about the infrastruction of Warh DC, you shouldn't be able to get two million people into the city. Yeah, and we did it. And we did it and was just an amazing thing. As far as you can see, a sea of people on every major roadway, just a sea of people. It was an amazing thing and we had no no bad incidence. It was no fights, that was no arrest, there was no it was just an amazing thing. That was my favorite, I think. So how many different groups have to work together, I mean secret service, everything, the armed for this. So the inaugural committee that starts about two years out. The inaugural committee has about thirty seven different agencies on it. Now. Just in warsh in DC alone, there's multiple jurisdictions. People will tell you there's thirty five different law enforcement agencies in DC. Right, I'm going to say the truth. The truth is there are thirty five different agencies that have law enforcement authority. The capital police, for example, police the capital. Right, one thousand eighteen hundred cops. They police the capital. Yeah, Supreme Court police, they police the Supreme Court. The Mint Police. They police the Mints Right. So there's a lot of building type police. There is the United States Park Police. The police is the the federal parks and then there is the Metro Transit Police. The police their jurisdictions. I always teasing. Their juristicks is a hundred miles long and thirty feet wide, but if you down nine one you're gonna get me right. We were the the law enforcement Aden see in the city. But that being said, every single day we worked with secret service because we move the Potus, The v Potus President, the vice president foreign has a state. So every day the capital police, Park police, secret service and MPD. We, yes, are it was our motors, the DC police, as motorcycles, that that were the Motor v and for the presidential hiration. Every time you see the presidential motorcade movement, was our motorcycles that run the lead and we worked with capital, Park and secret service. So there's no room for Egos. There really is no room for Egos when you've got to rely on each other the way we had to relie each other. If you stand on the Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in the street, you're in my jurisdiction. If you step up on the right curve at Lafaette Park, you're in the United States Park Police territory. If you step up on the other curb, you on the secret services territory. So in one block again, three jurisdictions. Then you know, the umbrella over it all right, like racked, so so, but there is some there is some little nuances. So if there's a protest in Lafayette Park and the capital police evict people from the park, they evict them onto h street and then they sit down on the street and block the street. Now they're in my territory itself. You're really going to have some pretty good negotiation skills. Right, right, exactly. I mean that's those stories are amazing. I can't even imagine what you've seen in your years. You in DC will also the cases to she's some of the yeah, National Ky, you know the beltway sniper. was you were that was no, it's Niver so the sniper. I was actually a district commander and the district where the the one homicide that happened in the district was in my district, right on George Avenue. Wow, that was yeah. So it seems like the AB thing should be pretty simple, since no problem, he's easy. Yeah, but so you go through all this. I mean you've had an amazing career in DC, so many accolades. You've helped so many people change their lives, change how...

...they think about the police. I'm sure from when you started to win your end I was probably one of your goals. Yes, absolutely, I mean I you know, I think that there's a lot of police officers out there and pleasing is kind of one of those very culture tradition driven things and I love the whole tradition of it. But we got to change, we have to change the way we do things and I think that for me I always found that we we got better information and we were more successful if we talked a little bit more and integrated a little bit more with people in the community, because even some of the bad guys, I mean where are you get information on criminals? Right from other criminals? So if you're not talking to them, you're not going to get it. And so it's part of, you know, kind of just changing the culture and I think that really went a long way to help us close crimes and when you when you rest people that are committing violent crimes. They typically are committing quite a few of them. So crime goes down just by the nature of the fact that you get those high, you know, high end defenders that are doing a lot of crime. Right, and you've been on all sides that. You were, you know, when you were in the drug are part of it, right, you were. What I did? I did narcotics, vehicular homicide I did. Yeah, I oversaw detectives, managed detectives. So yeah, I've been in the police department. What is different between a detective and a police like? You know, one has more power or not title. Well, so, no, I shouldn't say that. It really is a very different skill and you really have to have a passion for it. Detectives are so the uniform police officers, the ones. They're the true first responders. When the man of the gun is standing out there and somebody's down online on law or there's a shooting or stabbing going on, the uniform cops go in and they stop that crime. They they interact in the most dangerous situations. The detectives come after the fact. I like to tease detectives because, you know, they have a very high profile thing. You know, they come after all the dangers gone right, they do their investigation and they're not that tie usually to yeah, in a nextime, but it's a it's a difficult job. It's not easy and we have detectives that work in child exploitation and detective that work in Homis side. It's a it's crueling, it's a grueling job. It's very difficult. You need a special skill to do it and it's really hard on on those guys. So, as much as I like to pick on them, they do a good job. Now, have you seen a lot of I mean obviously in your in that field you're going to see a lot of PTSD and trauma and not everybody handles different situations the same. Does that kind of predict them, kind of where they'll go in the police force? Yeah, I tell you you, most most people that that can't, that don't deal well with it, will be gone in the first five years. They won't stay long. We get a lot of officers wash out in the first two years. I think people that remain in policing their passion drives them to what there's so many different things that you can do in police work. I mean there's there's narcotics work. There's, you know, junile enforcement and juvenile reform. So there's a lot of different things that you do and people typically tend to go where their skill is and what they have a passion for doing. But it does take a toll and we have as requirements in the police warming, like most all police farmers do, if you're involved in a critical incident. We've had some pretty horrific homicide scenes, you know, entire families, children, any of those cases that are really difficult to my all homicides are tough, but there's some that are much worse. So we were quire them to we have an employee assistant program with psychologists on staff and if you're involved in a shooting, for example, or something like that, you're required to go through those mandatory sessions. Cops all hate it, but they all say afterwards that that are glad they did it because it makes a difference. If you have to take care of your employees you didn't take care of yourself, otherwise you're not going to be effective police officer. Right, right. Well, can you tell us how exactly now you went from chief of police and DC to you're in the NFL as head of security. Like what's that transition? How does that happen? And like it was that years in the making? Or was that kind of like when you became chief of police or like? Like, no, you know, I just like I never thought I'd be the chief of police. I never thought I'd be working in the NFL. I had the third the third mayor had just come in, mayor of Bowser, who I liked. All the mayor's I work for. They're all very different, but I liked them all. And I just met with her and a few months earlier and I told her I'd stay with her as long as she was in. She asked me if I'd stay during the transgend. I told her I would. I loved my job. I in fact, I couldn't stand the thought of thinking about what am I going to do when I'm not a police officer anymore? So I never thought about leaving, never looked for other jobs. And then we kind of joked...

...around on my command staff because we're at will. You can get fired, and I is just say I'm was one bad traffic stop away from losing my job. Right somebody can make a bad traffics off 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 saint and I might not have a job. And so I got a letter from the NFL saying that they were looking for a chief Curtiositer, and I probably shouldn'tell you this, but it was really kind of funny. So when I got the letter, I was kind of shown as all my assistant chiefs, just to tease them, because they're all huge football fans, and like, Oh my God, you've got to take that job. But I really didn't have any intention of applying and going through the process. And then one of my closest friends, who was also in a chief level position, said, look, you never know, when was the last time you had a job at review? Why don't you just go through the process to see what it's like? Because, yeah, it's the last time I job at he was twenty seven years ago, right, so maybe might not be a bad idea. So so I decided to go through the process and I sixteen interviews here in New York. Sixteen. That was kind of hard to hide that from the mayor when I had to make four trips to New York and do sixteen interviews at lasted each day. It was here all day and then after the fourth round of interviews up here, on my way home, I was talking to my boyfriend on the phone and he says, I think they're going to have you a job and I said, wow, they're not going to offer me a job. But up until that, the moment that I got the job offer, I never really thought about leaving. It was really just kind of going through practicing an interview for me. But I did become very intrigued with the league, with some of the people I met here and what they are trying to do and I identified a lot with the challenges here. I mean, you know, I don't have to tell you everything that happens in the league. It's a big deal. It's if it happens in any other sport it might get, you know, one line of coverage. It happens in the league, it's going to be on TMZ, it's going to be in the post, it's going to be, you know, it's in its played over and over and over again. Right. So it really magnifies every little thing. But when I was in DC police, that was it felt the same way. You know, when you're when you're the chief in Washington DC. Everything that happens in DC is national news. Right, it can happen in Fairfax County or if it happened in Prince George's county next to us, you might see one line on the back of the paper, but if it happens, I d see it's so I kind of appreciated what they were trying to do and the spotlight that they're in and in the commissioner, you know, look, I was achievablease. I know you take the blame for everything and just looking at how much heat the commissioner takes, these blame for everything, right, I can appreciate what what the challenges are here. So, you know, by the time they made the job offer, I was I was pretty intrigued by the the offer here and, you know, thought probably better to go on my terms and the way until somebody tells me time for me to find the door. So I think it's also she's not just working with current players, the former players. As a former player, we can also call the NFL and say hey, I'm going to work with this company. Can you do background check for me? Can you find out information about me? So actually Dave, I can find out some information by you that you probably don't even know yourself. Do we have an ex question or OKA? He already had me do that work days very oh, I'm still here, so it couldn't been matter. You're just a lot of believe it's a good point, though. I my my philosophy here too, is that I think our primary job, it doesn't get the press, but our primary job is to protect the players. You know, the only thing people want to talk about as a player getting in trouble and because it's so magnified and played over and over and over again, it makes it look like a lot of players are getting in trouble and it's really just a really, really small number of of instance, and if we can do everything we can to protect them, because more often than not players are the victims, not the offenders. You know, they could take an advantage of quite a bit, and so I think for us, you know, I'd love to change the perception that out there, that that there's just huge number of players that are doing bad things. It really isn't, and and that we are here to provide some sort of help for them when we can. So anything. That still it's amazing. But you see, like a player whose house is broken into, his stuff is stolen, you know, and then that like maybe gets that night a news or somebody covers it, and if he's not a top player, they probably don't cover it at all. They don't really the media doesn't really care. But you know, if you are a top player and something like that happens to you, it's still goes away so fast. They want to know that the dirt. Like I so I coach a player that you probably had to deal with, Ezekiel Elliot. I've coached Ezekiel in high school and I'm always like just keep your nose clean. You don't have to do that stuff, you know what I mean, like your careers very short as a running back and just do what you can. And it's like, okay, now he's in trouble again. Come on, see can there playing? Like you said, he's on TMC's everywhere else. It's like, but he's I know him, I've known him. To seize a little kid and just keep your nose clean and you're a great kid. Just be who you are. But the hard part is too I mean they're young right there, no young and there's...

...a lot of people that you know are looking to take advantage of things. So a lot of things can get them in a bad position. And you know, I mean I I started off this whole conversation when I made some bad decisions when I was young. Right, you know when you're young and just don't make the best decisions sometimes. And so hopefully we can provide some service here from the security deign where we can help them up front make better decisions. Right, if you think about it, like if when you got out of the academy and they said, Oh, here's your rookie contract, we're going to give you five million dollars, it's like, okay, it's hard not to get in. Well, it's like you you want to go have some fun. Well, it's often, yeah, it's the they're surrounding cast that's causing the trouble. But they're the face of that and say yeah, you know, and when you're young you don't realize you all by association. That is true. That's very true. Day, very true. I just want to ask you last thing about the interview process. So sixteen interviews. Is the last one with the commissioner, or it was? It wasn't really it was. Do you know at the like after it's over, shake hands and you when do you find out you got the job at that point? So I found out about three days after that last set of interviews, which was the and he was the last interview before. I laughed. Yeah, you remember, like you're the toughest question he asked you. Actually, he he was a great person to interview with. He made me feel very comfortable. I mean, obviously I came into this series of interviews not feeling a lot of pressure, but because I had a job, I wasn't necessarily looking for a job, and so I didn't feel a lot of stress, but then going in to meet the commissioner, little stress. He's just a very down to Earth Guy. Seems very genuine and, you know, he had a real grasp of the security issues, which I really wasn't expecting. I kind of expected the commissioner not to know a whole lot about what I would see as challenges for security, but he did, so I was pretty impressed. Now, how about when you had to resign from the from the DC department? What was that like? You'd been there so long. I'll never, ever, ever forget that. It's so the the moment that I made a decision to accept that. I'm so again, everything that I did was very high profile. I'm sure, Terry, I will tell you the press literally stalked me. So last thing I wanted is for the mayor to this, to get out in 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 said I I want to go talk with the mayor. But like her very much and I really respected her. So I called up and ask her if she can meet me, which I never did. We met almost daily anyway, but I called her and ask her to meet with me. So she knew. So I think she knew something was up and I'll never forget I set down in her office and she said what's the matter and I said, well, I've accepted another position. I went, I'm going to leave and take another done. She looked at me and she says, I think I'm going to throw up. But if you think about it, for a mayor, the most important positions for you is police chief, fire chief, schools chancellor. Those are the three things that will make or break you. And government and having somebody that's experience. It's been there for a while in any of those three positions is is a charm trying somebody new, because the community and the politicians in the council and everybody are so sensitive to personnel to have to find somebody else's a tough thing. So I felt really, really bad about it, but I'll never forget that that day because I have so much respect for her and to tell her that. And but her next statement was good for you. So right, what is our next question was who would you hire? Yes, she did ask for my opinion on I yes, yeah, I'm sure I would too. Yeah, all right, I would too. So it's just an amazing experience that you've had. How many years have you've been with the NFL? Now? Three next week. Three years, two super bowls. You've been through three actually, because I came on for Houston. Oh So, what is that? I mean, I've never played in one, but I've been to them with my kids because they all want to go and going through security and what it's like when the NFL takes over a city. But I can't imagine what your team has to do to go in and prep for that city. You would corporations begin for a super bowl, because a two years, two years out. So we are, we are now. We're playing Miami and Tampa. So I would tell you, I I would you never hit these words come out of my mouth other than this one scenario. I was a little cocky. I thought, because I'd planned presidential inaugurations in Washington, that the super bowl is a walk in the park. Let me tell you, this super bowl is not a walk in the park. I mean this is, you know, twenty six or twenty seven different venues over ten days and literally you you now that we take over the entire city. It is a massive security challelenge. And it's not only a massive security challenge. You think it's tough...

...providing security for the president of the United States. Provide security for the high profile NFL folks, right, and you know all those others are come along with Super Bowl, right. That's everybody comes to super bowl. So it's a huge, huge undertaking. We spent about two years into planning and the difficult part is the inauguration happens in the same place every year. My footprint was the same, with some small exceptions for inaugural bowls. The don't want to different places and it's about three days of events. So it it's exhausting and it's a different footprint every time. So you start from scratch every super bowl. So it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work, but it's exciting and there's nothing I'd sell it. People ask me, you know, how do you go from being the chief of police in the nation's capital to do it anything else and make it feel important? And there's this great video that I saw when I first got here. It's a it's a threeminute long video and it's nothing but snapshots from every single super bowl all the way through and they show, you know, the entertainers, so you see you know Neil diamond, and you know that they play the music that that's from those different periods and these great plays. You know that the best plays from every super bowl. And when you watch that video you see everybody from bubble heads to Mickey Mouse to Michael Jackson, I mean everybody who's ever been anybody, presidents. If that doesn't show you how important football is to America? You know that it's protecting. That's not important, nothing really is. That's part of a who we are and you watch that video. It's like now I get why this is just as important as my last job. Well, also, what is there? About a billion viewers worldwide? Do Yeah, it's you know, it's such a jokey is for probably aptive, cyber security and everything. Yes, I have cyber studio also. Yeah, and I tell you, that's a you think about how big this job really is. It's just looking at the cyber component of it. You know what digital media with you know all of the you know, digital gaming now associated with it. We're going now. It's got hundreds of hundreds of domains associated with nflcom. So the the three hundred and sixty degree look at what security is here is really pretty massive. So it took all the cockiness away from me really quickly when I got here. Well, if you see like cuttle up come across your desk with a little using the NFL logo, just kind of push that one aside. Don't worry about them. So your Mug on it. Yeah, just say you're my guy. That's that's my new holder there. But now we I understand that more than anybody after all these years in the NFL. But because you have cyber security, we spoke with Fandel. We had somebody from fandel come on. And the sports betting, I mean just to protect the players from not getting caught in that trap. Gaming Integrity is important. You know, Stadium Security, so all the stadiums, we set the standard for all the security for all of the stadiums. So what the physical security standards are. And now cyber's produce standards are mandated that we enforce. All the special events, you know, Super Bowl, pro bowl, combine, draft, those are all ours the league. The League manages those, so that in its entirety is is ours to manage. So you know, all the things from fair competition to I mean, you name it. I mean there's a lot of things that that fall into this investigations that it's just a it's a it took all the cockness out of me. But which which staff was bigger? The DC police or the NFL DC, please by far? Yeah, head counts, head counts. Head counts different in the private sector. Yeah, I had five thou employees and FIVEZERO employees. And dz. Do you personally make it to each stadium each year or every so often to see what's going on in turn? Oh, yeah, that's I'm a very hands on operational person. I I my first season here. I came mid September and I hit nineteen stadium. Is My first year during the season. So which one literally favor every Sunday, Monday and Thursday? I well, I like different ones for different reasons. I'm I think Green Bay has one of the neatest stadiums. It's just dropped right down the middle of this neighborhood and if you go there and October and you look at the you're standing up on the top deck and you look out the neighborhood with all the leaves changing on all the tailgators and everybody's front yards, it's just me that's just an amazing place at this feels very nostalgic for football to me. And then you go to the newer stadiums, you know, forty niners and Atlanta, you know they're so technologically advanced and I can sit in your seat and order what you want from your phone and you know. So like them for different reasons. Yeah, except for chick filate on Sunday in Atlanta. Yeah, yeah, yeah, it will really where the it's like you were mentioning where this stadium sit with in relationship to the city and everything. Like...

Pittsburgh. Maybe tricky because you got the river right next to the stadium and there's all kinds of stuff. I know our friend as a boat often bird and they he one time parked a little too close and NFL security made him move back. You know. Yeah, movie got a phone calling like three minutes and he's an instant. So that was saw the draft? Did you see the draft in Nashville? We were the stage was backed up against the river and we wanted that buffer zone on the river. So the Coast Guard came out and did the buffer zone for us to we had six hundred thousd people shout for draft. I mean it was amazing. That's it was crazy. And let me tie it poured down rain and those people just stood there. Yeah, I remember it poured down rate. I'd rather stand in a rain, though. Then when I went to shoot bowl in Minnesota and it was like Miss Twenty every day, that was I hear you and and I have one of those jobs where I had to be outside. It was cold. Well, after the game. I went to the game with Ryan Fitzpatrick. We took our sons and then we were leaving and somehow we just got outside right away instead of taking like the walk, walkways. Crazy to sit round and twenty agree weather after the football game and we're like, okay, where do we going now? We're got to go find some more warm our kids were freezing. It was absolutely insane. It was amazing me. I didn't know until the Super Bowl and Minneapolis that actually ice forms in your nose when you breathe right. You literally have ice forming in your nose when you read outside. So yeah, it's a different kind of cold. It's definitely different kind of Cole. You know what I'm really sad about is they're tearing down RFK. Yeah, yeah, you know, that was my favorite stadium I've ever played in. Is that right? Yeah, I mean I loved it when I played there and the hogs were there and the band was there and the bleachers would be bouncing. I played the cowboys are the last game ever in RFK and just some memorial, something I'll never forget. Wow, I love that place. We used to work those games. I'm sure you did. I'm sure, yes, we did, but I'm not running. I'm running a little bit behind on my schedule. So half to contry and wrap up I'm really enjoyed doing your show. No, we appreciate it. So, Hey, we do one last thing. We got two questions for you from our Nukay. It's called no huddle. It's like our two minute we just want to fire a couple cool questions at you. Sir Dave. Go ahead, you always start. Okay, if you could trade places with one person in the world, dead or alive, who would that be for one day? Oh my goodness, never thought about that. Oh, Taylor Swift. That's a really good one. Speaking of Nashville, yeah, you go. What's your biggest pet? Peeve Lazy People. It sounds like coach Dick. It rise now. How about what's your favorite sports movie? Oh, longest yeard. The new one or the old one? The old one. I haven't seen the new one. Actually, you don't. You want to watch it something now. I want to ask you. This isn't the kind of the same era. Do you just ever see black Sunday? I did not. That's so you should. That would be your worst nightmare as the head of security through that as all that's one say. It's the cowboys, steelers, Super Bowl and seventy four and there's a limp loaded with explosives coming over the state. I will tell you the end. Thanks. Thank you. Trying out some more. That just some for you to think about. Yeah, thank you. It was only a movie, all right. So, since Dave stress you out, what do you like to do to relieve your stress? What are you? What are your hobbies? Do you have any loves you have? What are you? What are you like? So I'm an animal lover, so I do a lot of I used to do rescue for for dogs and handicapped dogs, but I can't do that too much anymore because I'm my travel. But anything outdoors. I bike, I Kayak, you know, nature lover, so guarding, you know, swimming, whatever, I hear you anything outside. Hey, we want to thank you for joining us today on Hudle up with guests, where we talked to a wide range of guests about how supports shaped to life. As always, I'm joined by my great friend and Co host, Dave Hagar, and we want you to be able to follow us on all of our social media at huddle up with gusts and we really appreciate you and thank you for your time and listening to our podcast.

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