Written By: Prince William County Police Department
Prince William County, VA… On Feb. 1, 2021, Peter J. Newsham was sworn-in as Prince William County’s new police chief. In a small, private ceremony held at the Charlie T. Deane Station, Chief Newsham was joined by his wife as he recited the Oath of Office administered by the Honorable Jacqueline Smith, the Clerk of the Court for Prince William County. Newsham was named the new police chief by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors in November 2020.
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 is 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 several operational assignments and leadership positions before being named Chief of Police in 2016. Newsham retired from the Metropolitan Police Department in January 2021.
“I believe and fully expect Chief Newsham will build on the long tradition that we have here in Prince William County”, stated Christopher Martino, County Executive, Prince William County. “…a very strong Prince William County police force, a culture that’s been developed over the four prior chiefs and many people that have come through our police force.”
Newsham will now lead the Prince William County Police Department as the fifth police chief since its inception in 1970. The Department has a budget of over $113 million and full-time staff comprising of close to 900 sworn and civilian members. Prince William County is the second largest county in the Commonwealth of Virginia with a diverse community of nearly 467,000 residents, stretching over 348 square miles.
“To the residents of Prince William County, we cannot be successful without you”, said Peter Newsham, Police Chief, Prince William County. “I’m looking forward to meeting each of you and I pledge to you to work every day to continue developing the trust that is essential for us to be successful in our profession.”