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No. 2 Will Be Acting Capitol Police Chief; Search for Successor Will Be Nationwide

Tom Reynolds, the No. 2 officer with the Capitol Police, will succeed Chief Phillip Morse in an acting capacity when he steps down at the beginning of June, Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said Monday.

Reynolds was promoted from deputy chief to assistant chief late last year, and assuming chief-like responsibilities from time to time is par for the course in that position.

“It’s quite standard,” Gainer said. “If the chief goes on a vacation or he takes a day off, the assistant chief will step in.”

No official announcement has been made yet, but Gainer said that when it does, it will probably be “a very brief announcement, nothing very formal.”

Gainer also divulged that the Capitol Police Board, which includes Gainer, House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving and Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers, will open the search for Morse’s permanent replacement to a nationwide applicant pool.

The Capitol Police will retain an outside firm to solicit applications and advise on the selection process. But an internal candidate could still get the job.

“I think Tom [Reynolds] is obviously a great candidate,” Gainer said, “and there are deputy chiefs in the department who have great skill sets.”

Jim Konczos, chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee, said at the time of Morse’s resignation announcement that if the Police Board decides to stay in-house, Reynolds would seem to be the right man for the job.

But on Monday, he reiterated his preference for selecting an outside candidate.

“We’re hoping for a fresh perspective,” Konczos said.

He added that while the committee has not yet been called on to weigh in on the selection process, he hopes he and his colleagues will get to have some input along the way.

With Morse not yet gone, the official search for his replacement has not begun in earnest. The hope, Gainer said, would be to have a new chief installed by the fall, in time to play a part in inauguration planning — something that Reynolds helped coordinate in 2008, Gainer noted.

It would also work out well, he said, if someone could be selected before the presidential conventions get under way at the end of August.

Morse revealed nearly one month ago that he would be stepping down at the end of May for a job in the private sector, the details of which he has not shared with the public.

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