Colonel Peter Newsham is the commanding officer of the Prince William County Police Department, and is committed to providing efficient and interactive police service to the residents of Prince William County. Chief Newsham is responsible for the planning and direction of all Department activities, and is the final authority in all matters of policy operations and discipline.
The mission of the Prince William County Police Department is to enhance the quality of life of our residents by providing police services through shared responsibility with the public. The dedicated members of this Department accomplish our mission by embodying our values in both our professional and personal lives, and through accountability to our citizens.
We believe that integrity is the basis of public trust, and that honesty and equality in delivery of police services is essential. This has been a hallmark of our Department since its inception and we are proud of our standing in the community.
Chief Newsham was born in Providence, Rhode Island, and
grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor's degree in political
science from the College of Holy Cross, and a Juris Doctorate from the
University of Maryland School of Law. He has attended numerous police executive
trainings and seminars and was actively involved in the Major Cities Chief’s
Association and the Police Executive Research Forum. Additionally, he has
attended the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) training on Law and Society, and the
ADL’s National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Israel.
In 1989, Chief Newsham joined the Metropolitan Police
Department in Washington, D.C., where he served in a number of operational
assignments and leadership positions before being named Chief of Police in
2016. Prior to his appointment to Chief of Police with the agency, Chief
Newsham served as Assistant Chief of Police Investigative Services Bureau,
Assistant Chief of Police Internal Affairs Bureau, Assistant Chief of Police
Regional Operations Command North, Assistant Chief of Police Office of
Professional Responsibility and District Commander. Newsham retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in January 2021.
The Prince William Board of County Supervisors
announced Chief Newsham as the new Police Chief for Prince William County in
November 2020 following a nationwide search. Newsham was sworn in as Chief of Police on February 1, 2021.