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Edward D. Reuss
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U. S. Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer has a new title—victim. Gainer, who has devoted his career to public service and has 38 years of expertise under his belt, has suddenly resigned from the department. Behind the scenes, some congressional and committee members hindered his efforts to lead the department, as a police chief should. Congress eradicated his horse-mounted unit after 14 months in existence, they cut his budget in various ways, and now they have confronted him with a law dating back to the 1960’s that states family members cannot be hired to work in the department. Gainer was not informed of this at the time he was hired and was not aware this law existed.

Consequently, his son-in-law was hired to work on the force and was employed for 2-1/2 years without any problem until now, when Gainer was confronted with notice of the law. He was provided three options—he could resign, he could be fired, or his son-in-law could resign. His son-in-law turned in his badge and resigned. It was an emotional moment for him as well as Gainer. Gainer subsequently submitted his resignation effective April 6, 2006.

These politicians, who found they could not control him like a puppet, victimized gainer.  Gainer is a real police chief, and he has always demonstrated effective leadership skills. He was progressive in implementing security measures suitable to a post-9/11 era and a time in which significant challenges concerning threat assessments and protective strategies exist. Gainer was not afraid to pursue progressive policing methods.

Always professional and always polite to all members on Capitol Hill, Gainer selflessly was dedicated and devoted to the tasks his profession role entailed. He worked many long hours, and he was unrelentingly committed to making his department the best it could be.  He was consistently mindful of the fact that his responsibilities were monumental in nature. He actively engaged in regional, as well as national, cooperation and collaboration to ensure mutual cooperation at all times.

While Gainer was diligently doing his job, there were apparent behind-the-scene efforts to curtail his plans and thwart his goals. The workplace for Gainer, undoubtedly, was hostile. Gainer was faced with the reality of doing his job the way he saw fit but was continually stymied by the manipulation and power play of congressional and committee members who wanted to do things their way—not Gainer’s way.

It is obvious that these members on the hill were looking for a way to force Gainer out of his position, and they were fine-tuning their efforts to figure out a way to do so. Thus, after his son-in-law was employed on the force for 2-1/2 years, Gainer was confronted with the ultimate straw to break the camel’s back—the nepotism law. Producing this law-- over two years later-- demonstrates how determined and mean-spirited they were to find something intricate enough yet solidly in place that would put Gainer in an untenable position.

Gainer has an outstanding professional reputation nationwide.  He is highly respected in the public service sector, and his background is comprised of vast knowledge, exemplary experience, and outstanding performance. Chief Charles Ramsey, his former boss in the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D. C. where Gainer formerly worked as his Executive Assistant Police Chief, acknowledges that Gainer is a good cop, a great police chief, and an expert on homeland security matters.

Chief Gainer greatly improved the safety and security of all who work, live, and visit the U. S. Capitol. The entire Washington Metropolitan region was much safer due to the profound impact he made with his policing methods and security strategies. His departure from the force will leave a tremendous void in all areas.

The victimization of a decent man, exceptional law enforcement official, and a public servant who genuinely cares about individuals and the community at large is abominable.

Chief Gainer-- an honorable man-- who has always demonstrated the highest level of character and integrity was undeserving of such treatment, and the lack of appreciation and respect exhibited by certain congressional and committee members is egregious.

Chief Gainer has made many contributions throughout his career and he has impacted many lives in positive ways. This nation should be grateful for his distinguished service, and he deserves appreciation and commendation for a job superbly done.

Copyright 2006 Karen L. Bune

***Karen L. Bune is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Criminal Justice at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.  She is a nationally recognized speaker and consultant on victim issues.  Ms. Bune is a Fellow of the Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress and is Board Certified in domestic violence.  She can be reached at kbune@gmu.edu



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