AP reports that Charles Moose, the Montgomery County, MD police chief who became famous for botching heading the investigation into the DC sniper shootings, has resigned. While no details are given, it would be hard to imagine it didn’t have something to do with the huge book and movie deal he would have had to give up to keep the job. And, frankly, it’s hard to fault him for not taking the money and running, given the alternatives. Presumably, he could get another police gig elsewhere if he wants.

James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. RG says:

    Last I heard, Chief Moose hasn’t been working as the Police Chief for a couple of months, as he has been mobilized in the Guard (Major, DC Air Guard, 113 Military Security Force Squadron (SFS = MP)) the past few months (for up to 2 years), providing security at Andrews AFB. A few weeks ago, the Board of Supervisors voted to ask to have their Police Chief back. Please.

    Reading Montgomery County’s Reserve policies (Memo of Oct 2001), I see they pay the difference between Reserve pay and regular pay. I can’t tell whether he would have to pay that back. (Mil salary = $78K, regular salary = $ 160K). In August he’ll also start drawing a $60-76K pension from the Portland police, where he spent 24 years, so if he stays called up, he’ll be making roughly about Montgomery County was paying him, and he won’t have the ethics issue hanging over him on the lucrative book and movie deals.

    Plus as you said, he can get another job after all this has blown over. (And isn’t it amazing how much info falls out with a few good google searches?)

  2. Sooth Sayer says:

    I salute Chief Moose. He had a difficult task and handled it very well. Congratulations and best wishes for the future.

  3. jen says:

    Personally, I don’t think Moose was actually heading up the sniper task force, but rather it was the FBI. I think he was just the spokesman, identified and put out front because the first shootings occurred in his county and because the FBI didn’t want to be seen as taking over the investigation.

    The truth is that there were several local and federal agencies involved in the investigation as the thing played out. For PR purposes it was better to have just one man to be out front than one from each jurisdiction or, heaven forbid, a Fed.

    My $0.02 for what it’s worth.