A former top aide to D.C. Chief of Police Cathy Lanier has been demoted for the second time in his career.

Josh Ederheimer had risen to become deputy chief under Lanier, but an order obtained by The Examiner shows he has been reduced in rank to captain at the end of October and moved out of his key position.

Lanier brought Ederheimer back to the department from the Police Executive Research Forum, a D.C. think tank that hired him after he was demoted from commander by Lanier’s predecessor, Charles Ramsey.

Ederheimer was instrumental in helping the department get out from under onerous Justice Department monitoring of police violence.
His steady demeanor and rigid professionalism earned respect of the rank and file and his banishment is baffling, police union Chairman Kris Baumann told The Examiner.

“They brought him in to help professionalize the department and repair the internal damage that was done under Ramsey,” Baumann said. “And rather than giving him the opportunity to do that, they’ve demoted him and embarrassed him and sent the message that professionalism is not welcome in this department.”

The official reasons for Ederheimer’s demotion are unclear, but sources within the department told The Examiner that Lanier has grown increasingly angry about embarrassing leaks of department goings-on.

Neither Lanier nor Ederheimer responded to requests for comment.

Ederheimer was replaced as deputy chief for training by former Metro Police Chief Polly Hanson.

Hanson worked for then-Metro General Manager Dan Tangherlini. Tangherlini has since become Mayor Adrian Fenty’s city administrator.

“It tells me that Mayor Fenty is running the department and that Dan Tangherlini is making personnel decisions for the department,” Baumann said. “Nobody should have any confidence that their jobs are secure under this administration.”

Lanier has been on the job for less than two years but has shaken up her command staff numerous times. She has struggled to combat the city’s violent crime but received a big boost from the courts last week when a federal judge denied a request to quash the city’s much-derided neighborhood barricade program.