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Chief of Police (MWAA)

Location: Arlington, VA


Metro Washington Airports Authority Office of Public Safety


November 13, 2017 by 11:00 pm

Job Description / Responsibilities

An Amazing Opportunity – This is truly an amazing opportunity to live and work in one of the most dynamic areas of the Metropolitan Washington Region. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is conducting a national search for an innovative and committed law enforcement professional to serve as the next Police Chief. Ideal candidates must be hands-on with the ability to wear many hats while demonstrating strong leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills to provide innovative and dynamic approaches in emergency and public safety services. This inspiring leader will be able to make tough decisions and hold officers accountable to the highest standards of professionalism and integrity. The Police Chief will join an energized executive leadership team committed to providing excellent service to the entire MWAA and its more than 42 million annual passengers, visitors, and workforce.

The Agency – The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is an independent public-sector entity established by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the District of Columbia with the consent of the U.S. Congress. In 1987, Washington Dulles International and Washington National (now Reagan National) Airports were transferred to the Airports Authority under a 50-year lease authorized by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Act of 1986. Prior to the transfer, the airports were owned and operated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The Airports Authority has a more than $800 million operating budget with over 1,635 employees in central administration, airports management and operations, and the police and fire departments. In addition to operating the airports, the Airports Authority is responsible for capital improvements. Major renovations include the opening of Terminal B/C at Reagan National, and the Dulles Development Program, which has provided a new airport traffic control tower, expanded airline gates, a fourth runway, and the Aero Train. MWAA has a 17-member Board of Directors that establishes policy and provides direction to management. Members of the Board are appointed by the Governors of Virginia and Maryland, the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and the President of the United States as follows:

  • The Governor of Virginia appoints seven Members, subject to confirmation by the Virginia Special Assembly;
  • The Governor of Maryland appoints three Members;
  • The Mayor of the District of Columbia appoints four Members, subject to confirmation by the D.C. Council; and
  • The President appoints three Members with the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate.

Members’ terms are for six years and can be reappointed once. The Board elects a Chairman, Vice Chairman, and Secretary annually.

The MWAA Police Department – The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department is one of the largest police departments in Northern Virginia. The Department has a FY2017 operations budget of approximately $27 million and 235 sworn officers, 34 Traffic Control Officers, 5 Safety Service Patrol personnel, and 12 civilian administrative employees at Ronald Reagan Washington National and Dulles International Airports. The Police Department is responsible for enforcing Airports Authority Regulations, County Codes in three separate county jurisdictions, and the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Police Department works closely with federal law enforcement partners and has several officers assigned to federal task forces. MWAA officers are fully certified by the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Police Department is a full-service police agency with traditional functions as well as security responsibilities that are unique to the airport environment.

In addition to policing in an airport environment, the Department has primary jurisdiction on the Dulles Toll Road and Dulles Access Highway.

The Position – The Police Chief serves at-will and is appointed by and reports to the Vice President of Public Safety. The Police Chief will be joining a high-energy, creative, and professional executive leadership team to assume command of a results-driven organization with a tradition of providing excellent service. The Chief will coordinate assignments and activities for all personnel as well as collaborate with other Federal, State, and local agencies. The Chief is also responsible for establishing and maintaining a positive employee/labor relations climate, and for the proper and efficient use of both human and financial resources. The Police Chief also contributes to the MWAA’s organizational strategic mission, planning, operations, processes, and procedures.

The position is responsible for ensuring public safety and security on all properties controlled by the Airports Authority that requires coordination with many external agencies including the Transportation Security Agency (TSA), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and other Federal, State, and local public-sector agencies on public safety matters, including mutual aid and support.

Specific responsibilities of the Police Chief include:

  • Provides top-level Departmental leadership and makes final decisions;
  • Ensures effective/responsive operations to the resident and nonresident service community;
  • Ensures legal/regulatory compliance with Office of Public Safety policies and procedures;
  • Develops/implements Department General and Special Orders, policies, and procedures;
  • Advises the Vice President for Public Safety and other executives on operational and administrative issues that cross organizational bounds;
  • Oversees and approves the planning and managing of special events at the Airports;
  • Reviews disciplinary issues and implements performance improvement plans;
  • Resolves issues or disputes between officers and civilians;
  • Provides recommendations for promotions;
  • Serves as Acting Vice President for Public Safety in the Vice President’s absence;
  • Advises the management team on negotiations and other critical interactions with the bargaining unit; advises or takes action on management-employee relations;
  • Provides credible testimony in court, preparing for cases as appropriate;
  • Regularly visits field locations to monitor/inspect/provide command/control, as required; and
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Top Priorities

  • Delivering public safety and security for all MWAA properties and assets;
  • Cultivating a highly responsive and customer-oriented department, with a continued focus on ensuring public confidence and trust in the integrity of the Police Department;
  • Ensuring a strong culture of the highest standards of transparency, integrity, and professionalism;
  • Training staff to tactically mitigate an active shooter or IED scenario; and
  • Fostering a collaborative and innovative department that effectively engages other Federal, State, and local agencies’ stakeholders.

Compensation & Benefits
A competitive compensation package will be offered for this at-will executive position, with excellent benefits including medical insurance, life insurance, use of vehicle, paid holidays, vacation, sick leave, management leave, a great public-sector retirement, and voluntary deferred compensation.


The Ideal Candidate – The ideal candidate will be a servant leader who conveys an effective command presence and has outstanding people and management skills. The ideal candidate will be capable of inspiring trust and confidence in all facets of MWAA's diverse passenger population, as well as earning the respect and confidence of both sworn and civilian employees. The next Police Chief will be well-versed in working with large, complex, and diverse customer populations and problem-solving; have a proven reputation for being accessible and transparent; and for building partnerships between the Department and other Federal, State, and local agencies and multiple stakeholders. She or he will be a communicative, confident, collaborative, and decisive leader with sensitivity, political acumen, good judgment, astute environmental awareness, strong professional presence, and an inspiring demeanor to move the MWAA Police Department forward.

The ideal candidate will:

  • Possess a passion for public service and public safety;
  • Exhibit exceptional leadership and people skills; have the ability to work with and establish relationships with a wide-range of stakeholder groups, strategic partners, elected officials, and colleagues;
  • Have demonstrated the ability to hold others to values characterized by a commitment to integrity, honesty, transparency, humility, proactivity, innovation, equity, compassion, service excellence, and responsive leadership;
  • Exhibit outstanding communication skills; being hands-on, open, and receptive to working with people to create and sustain an environment of trust and respect;
  • Possess political savvy, technological savvy, and the ability to receive constructive criticism;
  • Demonstrate the ability to make decisions based on facts and merit, while maintaining flexibility; and
  • Display a demonstrated commitment to customer service and problem-solving, staff development, and morale building to set a positive tone within the Department.

Education – Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in Political Science, Criminal Justice, or related field, or an equivalent combination of education, experience, and training that totals four years. A fully equivalent combination of education and training beyond what is needed to satisfy the education requirement may be used to substitute for up to two of the four years of experience. For example, a master’s degree may substitute for two years of experience.

Experience – The successful candidate will have a minimum of ten years of progressively responsible experience supervising police department functions (including managing operations, personnel, and administration functions). Included in these ten years of experience must be at least four years of experience commanding either a police station of approximately one hundred law enforcement officers or a major police unit (such as a bureau or division).

Other Requirements – Must be a citizen of the United States of America and be able to:

  • Successfully complete a comprehensive background investigation; and
  • Pass a comprehensive medical examination including drug screening/vision exam.

Required Certifications and Licenses –

  • A State of Virginia driver’s license in good standing;
  • Certification as a Law Enforcement Officer by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services within 12 months of hire or placement into the position;
  • Certification as a Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) Operator within 60 days of hire or placement into the position; and
  • Certification in firearms proficiency within 90 days of hire or placement into the position.

How to Apply

This is a confidential process and will be handled accordingly throughout the various stages of the process. Candidates should be aware that references will not be contacted until mutual interest has been established. The first review of resumes will take place on November 13, 2017. This position is open until filled; however, candidates are encouraged to apply early in the process for optimal consideration. Résumés will be reviewed and evaluated throughout the recruitment process.

Interested candidates are encouraged to consider this career opportunity and submit immediately. Candidate submittals should include a comprehensive résumé, compelling letter of interest, salary history, and professional references via email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Electronic submittals are required. Confidential inquiries are encouraged to Mr. Robert Burg at (916) 630-4900.

Ralph Andersen & Associates will determine the best overall match with the established criteria as outlined in this recruitment profile. A final decision will be made by the Vice President of Public Safety and it is anticipated that the newly selected Police Chief will join the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority in January 2018 or at a mutually agreeable date.

The Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.