WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A longtime deputy to outgoing Washington Police Chief Cathy Lanier has been named interim chief while the search is under way for her replacement, Mayor Muriel Bowser said on Tuesday.

Peter Newsham, who will step in for Lanier, has been an assistant chief at the Metropolitan Police Department since 2002. He is head of the Investigative Services Bureau and formerly ran the internal affairs unit, Bowser said in a statement.

Newsham, who holds a law degree, will take over for Lanier starting Sept. 17, she said.

Lanier, 49, said last week she would step down next month to become chief security officer for the National Football League. Lanier, who spent 26 years with the Washington force, oversaw a downturn in violent crime in the U.S. capital while building ties with the local community.


Bowser said the search for a replacement for Lanier has begun inside and outside the department. A job announcement will be published in coming days, she said.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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