The politics of Frederick are perhaps less turbulent than those in the Capitol building, but Dine nevertheless was challenged in his last job. He served under three mayors, sometimes clashing with a county sheriff whom critics accused of racial profiling in his eagerness to deport illegal immigrants. The dispute became a referendum on Frederick’s direction as it straddled its rural roots and its present as a growing, increasingly diverse Washington suburb.
Dine’s predecessor had been suspended for ordering officers to stake out the local NAACP president, who had complained that a local madam had gotten off easy with the law in order to keep her “black book” from going public and embarrassing well-known townspeople. Officials say Dine won over the black community and other groups while presiding over a reduction in crime.
When Dine interviewed for the Frederick job a decade ago, then-Mayor Jennifer Dougherty said he surprised the interview committee by saying, “I can’t guarantee we’re going to lower the crime rate.” The former mayor said Dine “was saying he wasn’t going to tell us that he can solve all the problems of Frederick City. I respected his opinion, and I sought his opinion.”
William H. Graham, the pastor of Frederick’s First Missionary Baptist Church and a police chaplain, said of Dine, “I think he could’ve run for mayor up here and won.” Graham said Dine scoured the community to connect with residents, visiting churches, knocking on doors, and attending meetings, funerals and cookouts.
“He spoke to everyone,” said Alderman Kelly Russell, a retired police lieutenant who served under Dine. She credited him with bringing in big-city police methods — such as computerized crime tracking and neighborhood substations — and fostering trust between police and residents.
“He dismissed nothing,” Russell said. “He spoke to everyone as if their problem was the biggest problem there was.”
Terrance Gainer — the U.S. Senate sergeant at arms, a former D.C. police executive assistant chief and a former Capitol Police chief — helped select Dine. He said the new chief knows the job and the terrain. “You need someone who is a good leader, but you need consensus builders,” Gainer said of the Capitol Police. “That’s what you need on this Hill.”