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Edward D. Reuss
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  The District of Columbia Fraternal Order of Police recently hosted a farewell party in honor of Former United States Capitol Police Chief Terrance W. Gainer .  Many police officers and colleagues in the criminal justice system, including members of Gainer’s family, turned out to honor him and celebrated his outstanding service and contributions to the U. S. Capitol Police force.It was both a happy and sad occasion.  It was happy in the sense that the camaraderie of professional relationships and personal friendships permeated the room with unrelenting devotion.  It was sad in the sense that Gainer’s departure was one not welcomed by the officers who served under him nor his friends and colleagues who cherished their linkage of professional bonds.


A number of people paid tribute to Gainer and acknowledged the fact that he was always a “cop’s cop”.  Gainer was a progressive and proactive police chief who assertively defended his officers when their conduct was appropriate.   It was not unlike Gainer to be out on the street in his cruiser, identified as “Cruiser One”, to back up his officers on a traffic stop or to cruise by on a holiday and thank them for their service and wish them a nice day.

He tackled security issues at the United States Capitol with vigor, and he did not hesitate to implement necessary security measures that were important in deterring future terrorist attacks. He willingly engaged in cooperative and collaborative efforts with local, state, and federal jurisdictions and understood the importance of information sharing and mutual assistance in a world threatened by terrorist attacks and increased risk of harm to our country. He also recognized the need for a horse-mounted unit, and it became a reality due to his efforts. Unfortunately, however, the unit was short-lived due to subsequent congressional action that dismantled the unit 14 months after its initiation.

Gainer always upheld the true meaning of an officer and a gentleman. He was able to diplomatically deal with congressional officials who were not always supportive of his efforts, and he maintained his composure amidst many trying moments on the hill. Gainer forged many diverse professional relationships and, as a consequence, developed many friends who came to know and respect the man for his character, honor, and integrity.

Gainer has always been well known for his contagious sense of humor and his warm and engaging personality. Despite the demands of his job and the political pressures that he endured, Gainer maintained a positive attitude. He always brightened the day of anyone who crossed his path.

The highlights of his tenure with the U. S. Capitol Police were recognized at his farewell party and fond recollections stirred memories and conversation. Unquestionably, Chief Gainer was and is one of the best in the business, and he received gratitude for his contributions to public service. 

Since Gainer will no longer have his police cruiser marked “Cruiser One”, the FOP presented him a gift that provides him a new and alternative mode of travel. Gainer was given a bicycle with the identifier known as, “FOP One” with advice that he uses it to travel to the FOP frequently to visit those who will sorely miss him but who will remain his steadfast friends always. May Gainer’s future bring him all good things that life has to offer and which he so richly deserves.

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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