Peoria Journal Star
November 16, 2006
Former Chicago officer Terrance Gainer named top cop in U.S.
By Paul M. Krawzak
Copley News Service
WASHINGTON - Terrance W. Gainer, who rose from Chicago cop to head
of the Illinois State Police to chief of the U.S. Capitol Police,
now has another title to add to his resume.
Gainer, 59, has been named sergeant at arms in the Senate when
Democrats take control of the chamber in January.
Incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., named Gainer
to the top Senate law enforcement post this week.
Gainer on Wednesday called the new job "very exciting," adding
that it came as a complete surprise when Reid offered the job to
him last week.
Six weeks ago, he had taken a new job as vice president in charge
of overseas law enforcement programs at L3 Communications, a
Reid tapped Gainer "because he has the highest respect for the man
who for years helped protect and defend the Capitol against
terrorism fears, anthrax attacks and more," Reid spokesman Will
Assuming he receives Senate approval, Gainer would be sworn in
Jan. 4. He would succeed former Secret Service agent William H.
Pickle in the post.
Gainer, a widely admired yet controversial figure, retired from
his last high-profile job, Capitol Police chief, in April after it
was revealed that his son-in-law worked for the police force in
violation of department nepotism rules. On Wednesday, Gainer said
he was unaware of the rule when his son-in-law was hired but felt
it was the right thing for him to do to step down since it was his
His last job in Illinois was as state police director under Gov.
Jim Edgar from 1991 to 1998. He also is an attorney.
Gainer said the new job, which includes overseeing protocol and
Senate support services, will be different in some ways.
"When you're dealing with the history and the protocol and the
importance of the Senate, I think, it puts a little bit more
pressure on it," he said. He said his priorities will be security
and "making sure the business of the Senate can be done."
"It needs to be a well-oiled city up there and I get to
orchestrate it for a while," he said.
Gainer served in the No. 2 spot in the Washington, D.C.,
Metropolitan Police Department from 1998 until 2002, when he was
hired as Capitol Police chief after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist
As chief law enforcement officer for the Senate, the sergeant at
arms is charged with maintaining security in the Capitol and the
protection of senators. He will serve on a board that oversees the
The sergeant at arms also oversees protocol, and is responsible
for escorting the president and other heads of state who are
attending functions in the Capitol.
The $161,000 post also has jurisdiction over support services to
the Senate, including information technology, telecommunications
and other administrative duties