In conjunction with an effort to reorganize the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s district command structure, there’s a new officer overseeing the Capitol Hill area.
David Kamperin, a 22-year MPD veteran, took over as 1st district commander at the end of September, replacing Diane Groomes, who was promoted to assistant chief of patrol services and school security.
Kamperin comes to the 1st from the Special Operations Division, where he worked with SWAT teams and K-9 units. He is joined by Inspector George Kucik, who will run the 1D substation.
The 1st district covers Capitol Hill, downtown and the Southwest Waterfront.
“One-D is going to be in good hands with him and George Kucik,” Groomes said. “They are very dedicated and professional officials. They believe in community policing. The things I instituted they will keep, and if not they will build upon it.”
Kamperin was a lieutenant in the 1st district in 2001 and 2002.
“Capitol Hill was his [Police Service Area], and people remember him from that,” Groomes said. “The 1st is one district I don’t have to worry about.”
The move was part of a reorganization that brings all seven district commanders under Groomes’ new position. Previously, there were regional commanders managing two or three district commanders.
“This will streamline the whole organization’s paperwork,” Kamperin said after a PSA 102 meeting last week in which he met residents. “Instead of going through two or three chiefs, now you just go to one chief.”
The change also will allow easier shifting of officers. Groomes gave as an example a recent funeral for an officer in the 3rd district. She was able to shift on-duty personnel from other districts to allow 3D officers to attend the funeral.
“Instead of calling three different chiefs, it was done immediately,” Groomes said.
Groomes said the 1st is one of the tougher districts to manage.
“It has all four quadrants, lots of critical infrastructure — highways, freeways, terrorist spots, monuments,” she said. “Every festival or parade that occurs in the city goes through 1D. The other thing is, with the revitalization and boom, population growth, how will he prepare for that? There are huge housing, stadium and traffic issues.
“I think it’s a balance of public disorder and violence versus homeland security and public security,” she added.
Groomes, who just marked her 17th year on the force, said she thinks Kamperin is up for the job.
“My biggest challenge, though I’m familiar with the community, is getting immersed in the 1st district,” Kamperin said. “I don’t believe in making changes just to put my signature on it. I need to see what’s working, and then we’ll go from there.”