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John T. McKee named chief of Capitol Police

McKee was named interim chief in January, replacing Col. Anthony S. Pike, who retired at the end of 2022 after leading Capitol Police for nearly 12 years.
RICHMOND – Major John T. McKee, a veteran of more than 25 years with the Division of Capitol Police, has been named chief of the agency, effective April 17, 2023.

The announcement of McKee's promotion was made Thursday by Virginia's Legislative Support Commission, the panel whose oversight responsibilities include Capitol Police.

The commission had named McKee interim chief in January, replacing Col. Anthony S. Pike, who retired at the end of 2022 after leading Capitol Police for nearly 12 years.

“Like so many, I have seen firsthand, and hear many good reports about, John McKee's very effective leadership and collaborative style of management,” said House Speaker C. Todd Gilbert, a member of the Legislative Support Commission. “We are confident in his abilities and convinced that he is the right person to lead Capitol Police to higher levels of success.”

“John has a cooperative attitude with key stakeholders around Capitol Square and a pragmatic approach to problem solving,” said Senator Mamie E Locke, Chair of the Senate Committee on Rules as well as a member of the Legislative Support Commission. “These attributes are much appreciated and further enhance the operational performance of the many fine officers and staff in the Capitol Police.”

“I'm grateful to the Legislative Support Commission for putting their trust in me to lead the Division of Capitol Police,” McKee said. “I am a true believer in public service, and it's particularly humbling to be able to do it at an agency that is now in its fifth century of proud service to the people of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

McKee, whose new rank will be colonel, has had a steady rise through the ranks since joining Capitol Police in 1997, being named lieutenant in 2008, captain in 2020 and major in May 2022. Along the way, McKee has distinguished himself for his attention to detail and his calm, professional, steady demeanor.

“We believe John McKee's strong performance as Interim Chief over the past three months merited this decision,” said G. Paul Nardo and Susan Clarke Schaar, Clerk of the House and Clerk of the Senate, respectively, who also are members of the Legislative Support Commission. “Starting next Monday, we look forward to continue working closely with Colonel McKee to ensure that the State Capitol and its visitors are safe.”

McKee, a native of Bryan, Texas, spent three years with the Army after graduating from Clover Hill High School in Midlothian in 1993. After joining Capitol Police and completing his division training, he began attending John Tyler Community College, where he earned an associate's degree in liberal arts and sciences. He enrolled at Bluefield College, leading to a bachelor's degree in organizational management and development.

McKee also earned a post-graduate certificate in public safety from Virginia Commonwealth University and is a graduate of the 255th session of the FBI National Academy, the 2007 Public Safety Institute through Virginia Commonwealth University, the 2011 National Criminal Justice Command College through the University of Virginia and the Commonwealth Management Institute of VCU, also in 2011.

The Division of Capitol Police has roughly 125 sworn law enforcement officers and civilian support employees, traces its roots to 1618 and is recognized as the oldest law enforcement agency in the United States.

The division is responsible for 24-hour-a-day public safety services to members of the Virginia General Assembly; the governor and his family; lieutenant governor; attorney general; Virginia Supreme Court justices; Court of Appeals judges; thousands of state employees and more than 100,000 annual visitors to the Capitol complex.

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