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Former Montgomery County Police Chief, Charles Moose dies at 68

Moose served as the Montgomery County Police Chief from 1999 to 2003.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Former Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, who was nationally recognized for his leadership during the D.C. Sniper attacks, passed away at the age of 68, according to a statement released by Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich.

The Montgomery County Police Department announced on social media that Moose died at his home on Thanksgiving Day.

"We are forever grateful for his contributions to public safety during his tenure, and our thoughts are with his wife, Sandy Moose, and his family and friends," Elrich tweeted Friday morning.

Moose served as the Montgomery County Police Chief from 1999 to 2003.

Read the County Executive Elrich's full statement below:

"We are extremely saddened by the news announcing the passing of former Chief Charles Moose," said current Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones. "He was a great leader and led our department through the DC Sniper investigation, one of the most difficult crime sprees in our country’s history. We send condolences to his wife Sandy and all of his family and friends."

One of Moose's recognizable achievements stemmed from the time he led the department and became the face of Montgomery County during the D.C. Sniper attacks, also known as the Beltway Sniper attacks, in 2002.

In the course of about three weeks, the event caused terror across the DMV region following a series of random shootings that resulted in ten deaths and several injuries.

John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo were convicted for the attacks. Muhammad was executed in 2009 in Virginia after serving time and Malvo is serving life in prison. 

Elrich said Moose "provided a calming presence in the midst of terror and fear that consumed our County and the Washington region."

Former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan hired Moose away from the Portland Police Bureau where he had served as the Oregon department's first Black police chief.

Duncan said Moose was under intense pressure to bring the sniper attacks to an end.

"I thought he did a tremendous job as the leader of the task force that brought these two people to justice," he said. "There was a lot on his shoulders. You saw his emotion, I think, every day that he spoke to the press and to the public. That helped him through it all.”  

Duncan added Moose never took the attention from the public spotlight too seriously after Muhammad and Malvo were captured.

"I have got to say he was swamped with offers to write a book and swamped by people giving him book agents’ names and things," he said. "So, he decided to write a book and then things kind of went sour with our ethics commission, but he didn't take it too seriously.”

Duncan said Moose left Montgomery County after that, but his commitment to policing remained strong. He said Moose eventually went to work for the Honolulu Police Department before he retired.

“I thought his time in Montgomery County was too short," Duncan said. "I was always impressed with the job he did as our chief and would have loved to work with him even longer than I did.”

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