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Posted at 05:00 PM ET, 04/23/2012

Capitol Police Chief Phillip D. Morse to retire


(Mark Wilson - Getty Images)

U.S. Capitol Police Chief Phillip D. Morse plans to retire at the end of May after 28 years with the congressional law enforcement agency.

Morse, who has served as chief since 2006, is leaving for a new position in the private sector; he didn’t share details of the new job Tuesday.

“My tenure as Chief of Police has been an honor and the capstone of my federal law enforcement career,” Morse said in a statement Tuesday. “It was a difficult decision to leave a Department where I have spent more than half my life. However, I feel that this is the right time for me personally and professionally. Further, my new position will allow me to spend more time with my family.”

Terrance W. Gainer, the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms, said Morse’s impending departure was a purely personal decision and not tied to any concerns with his tenure.

“He’s earned it,” Gainer said.

Morse is expected to retire at the end of May.

The Capitol Police is responsible for security at all congressional facilities and maintains limited jurisdiction across Washington. The force has nearly in tripled in size since 1998 and now employs about 1,775 officers. Roughly 70 percent of the force is between the ages of 21 and 30, according to department figures.

Here is the rest of Morse’s statement in full:

For the past 28 years, I have had the honor and privilege of working for the United States Capitol Police. Our mission, our sense of family and teamwork has always been a point of personal and professional pride and satisfaction for me. As I reflect, I take great pride in you, the dedicated members of the United States Capitol Police, and the outstanding service you provide to the congressional community and to the nation. Our officers’ and civilian employees’ diligence in consistently performing their law enforcement and administrative duties in accordance with policy, procedures, and training has created a disciplined police force able to successfully prevent individuals from doing harm to those we are sworn to protect. It is our duty to provide a safe and secure environment which allows Congress to meet its Constitutional responsibilities while allowing the public the freedom to visit the Capitol and their elected representatives. I’m proud of the role we play in our democracy and the law enforcement profession.
I want to thank the Capitol Police Board for the opportunity to serve as Chief of Police for the past five and a half years. I look forward to working with the Board to ensure a smooth transition. I appreciate the kind support and guidance they offered me during my tenure.

Follow Ed O’Keefe on Twitter: @edatpost

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