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Amtrak names former Metro Transit Police chief Polly Hanson head of railroad’s police

Polly Hanson, a former Metro Transit Police chief, will take over Amtrak’s police force next month.

Amtrak made the announcement Monday. Hanson will replace John O’Connor, who retired in June.

Hanson spent 27 years with Metro’s police force, serving as chief from 2002 to 2007. She then became the transit agency’s assistant general manager overseeing safety, security and emergency management. She subsequently moved to the D.C. police, where she oversaw policy research and analysis for three years. Last year, she moved to the federal Department of the Interior, where she has headed law enforcement operations.

“I am eager to return to transportation policing where I will work closely with Amtrak employees, the riding public and state, local and federal law enforcement officers to protect America’s Railroad,” Hanson said in a statement.

Amtrak said it would not make Hanson available for interviews until after she starts her job Dec. 17.

The Amtrak force has more than 500 officers and employees working in 46 states and the District. Hanson will be based in Washington.

“We believe she’s a great choice,” Amtrak spokesman Steve Kulm said. “She’s got an excellent background. . . . She’s bringing the types of skills and experiences that can help the Amtrak Police Department improve even further.”

Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

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