The new chairman of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police hopes to improve the union’s relationship with the chief.
“New blood; new ideas; a younger, fresher face,” is how Jimmy White, a six-year member of the Metropolitan Police Department and newly elected secretary of the police union, describes the union’s new leadership.
That “new blood” is headed up by Sgt. Matthew Mahl, who was elected chairman of the union in January by a 2-to-1 margin. Mahl said the union won’t be playing politics, and he hopes its relationship with Chief Cathy Lanier will result in more money and a shorter work week for officers.
Mahl took over as chairman of the D.C. Fraternal Order of Police April 1. At union headquarters in Southeast, he told News4 the union will no longer endorse candidates for political office — a practice that has become routine for police and other unions in the District.
“As of right now, we’re not going to,” Mahl said. “I don’t think it’s the job of the police union to support candidates running for office.”
Mahl noted that just after taking over as union chairman, some elected officials pointed out that his union had endorsed their rivals.
“Right now, what we have to do as a police union is rebuild these relationships,” Mahl said. “If I support a candidate that doesn’t win, the candidate that I opposed, if they get into office, is less likely to work with me. So the police union will look forward to working with any candidate that gets elected into office.”
Mahl said he has yet to meet with Mayor Muriel Bowser, but they have spoken by phone. The previous union leadership did not endorse Bowser or Council Chairman Phil Mendelson.