Charles Moose

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Charles Moose
Charles Moose.jpg
Moose during his tenure as the chief of the Montgomery County Department of Police.
Born 1953 (age 64–65)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Portland State University
Relatives Sandy Moose (wife)
Police career
Department Montgomery County Police
Country  United States of America
Allegiance  United States Air Force
Years of service 1999–2003
Rank 2 Gold Stars.svg Chief of Police (1999-2003)
Other work Honolulu Police Department
Portland Police Bureau

Charles Alexander Moose (born 1953) is an American author and former police officer. He is best known for his role as being the primary official in charge of the efforts to apprehend the D.C. snipers in October 2002. During his law enforcement career, Moose served as the chief of police for Montgomery County, Maryland, and Portland, Oregon.

Early life and education[edit]

Moose was born in New York City in 1953 and grew up in North Carolina.[1] His family moved to Lexington, North Carolina, shortly after he was born, and Moose lived and attended school there until leaving for college.[2] When he was sixteen years old, his mother died, and his father died when Moose was in his early twenties. Moose completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in U.S. History in 1975 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.[1][3] That year he joined the Portland Police Bureau in Portland, Oregon, as a patrol officer.[3] He then earned a Master of Public Administration degree from Portland State University in 1984, and a Ph.D in urban studies and criminology in 1993.


Police executive[edit]

In 1993, Moose became the police chief of the Portland Police Bureau and served as the top law enforcement official for the city until 1999.[3] During his time in Portland he also taught at Portland State University and was a member of the Oregon Air National Guard.[3] On August 2, 1999, he became the 15th Chief of the Montgomery County Police Department. In October 2002, he was the primary official in charge of the efforts to apprehend those responsible for the Beltway sniper attacks. In June 2003, Moose resigned after a disagreement with Montgomery County regarding a policy that barred him from working on a book and consulting on a movie about the sniper investigation.[4] The book was released in September 2003 and is titled Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper.[5] Before the trial, however, Chief Moose engaged in a publicity tour for his book on the sniper investigation, which jeopardized the prosecution. The tour included appearances on Dateline NBC, The Today Show, and The Tonight Show. Assistant Prince William County Commonwealth's Attorney James Willett told The Washington Post, "Personally, I don't understand why someone who's been in law enforcement his whole life would potentially damage our case or compromise a jury pool by doing this."[6]

Later work[edit]

Until 2005, Moose served as the Squadron Commander of the 113th Security Forces Squadron, D.C. Air National Guard, United States Air Force. While Moose served with that unit, he deployed to Operation Katrina and served as military liaison and adviser to the New Orleans Police Department in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Moose was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and served as the 154th Security Forces Commander in Hawaii.

Moose later graduated from the Honolulu Police Academy[7] and reported for duty as one of the members of the Honolulu Police Department.[8] On August 4, 2010, The Gazette reported that Moose is no longer employed at the department.[9]

As of September 2012, Moose was retired and living in Tampa, Florida.[10]

In popular culture[edit]



  1. ^ a b Charles Moose. (2006). Contemporary Black Biography. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  2. ^ Moose, Charles; Charles Fleming (15 September 2003). Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper. Penguin Group (USA). p. 370. ISBN 0-451-21279-7. 
  3. ^ a b c d Press release no. 99-275: Charles Moose sworn in as 15th Montgomery County police chief. Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine. (1999, August 2). Montgomery County (MD) Government. Retrieved June 9, 2007.
  4. ^ Manning, Stephen (June 19, 2003). "Maryland Chief Who Led Sniper Probe Quits". The Day. Rockville, Maryland. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  5. ^ Fleming, Charles; Moose, Charles A. (September 15, 2003). Three Weeks in October: The Manhunt for the Serial Sniper. New York City, New York: E.P. Dutton. ISBN 9780525947776. OCLC 52547597. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  6. ^ "The Moose is On Fire by Michelle Malkin - Capitalism Magazine". 2001-09-11. Retrieved 2009-08-16. 
  7. ^ "Sniper-Era Chief Training as Honolulu Street Officer", WTOP, April 3, 2006. Retrieved June 13, 2006.
  8. ^ ""Chief Moose now Hawaii Police Officer"". Archived from the original on May 10, 2007. Retrieved 2006-12-12. , WJZ 13 Eyewitness News (November 10, 2006). Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  9. ^ "County police reopen investigation into Beltway snipers", The Gazette (August 4, 2010). Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  10. ^ Wagner, Paul (September 18, 2012). "As 10-year anniversary approaches, former Chief Charles Moose discusses sniper investigation". MyFoxDC. Fox. Archived from the original on November 15, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
Thomas Evans
Chief of the Montgomery County Department of Police
August 2, 1999 – June 2003
Succeeded by
William C. "Bill" O'Toole (acting)