Terrance W. Gainer was sworn in as the 38th United States Senate Sergeant at Arms on January 4, 2007, continuing his distinguished career, leading innovation in security and law enforcement worldwide.
Mr. Gainer spent many years in public safety leadership before being unanimously elected by Senators in the 110th Congress. As chief law enforcement and executive officer of the Senate, the Sergeant at Arms enforces rules of the Senate, provides services to Senators in their Washington D.C. and state offices and maintains security in the Capitol and Senate office buildings. He leads a force of nearly 1,000 personnel.
Last year, Sergeant at Arms Gainer was appointed Commissioner on the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq. This Commission was comprised of individuals with credentials and expertise in military and law enforcement matters. The 20-member group was charged with conducting an independent assessment of the Iraqi Security Forces and reported its findings to Congress in the fall of 2007.
In 2008, Mr. Gainer served with the Special Envoy for Middle East Regional Security, which was created to advance the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute by assisting in strengthening security institutions. The Envoy fosters Israeli-Palestinian cooperation, engaging other key countries in enhancing regional security, and designing a plan for security issues between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority should there be a two-state solution.
Mr. Gainer began his law enforcement career as a police officer in Chicago in 1968, and rose through the ranks as a homicide detective, sergeant and executive assistant in the Administrative Services Bureau. An accomplished attorney who was admitted in Illinois, Federal District Court and U.S. Supreme Court, he served as the chief legal officer of the Chicago Police Department from 1981 through 1984. In this capacity, he assisted in negotiating the city's first labor contract with the police union.
Mr. Gainer entered the Illinois state government in 1987, serving as Deputy Inspector General. He next served as Deputy Director of the Illinois State Police before moving to the U.S. Department of Transportation as Special Assistant to the Secretary and Director for Drug Enforcement and Compliance. In March 1991, Governor Jim Edgar appointed Mr. Gainer Director of the Illinois State Police. In May 1998, Mr. Gainer moved to Washington D.C. to become Executive Assistant Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department, where he served as second-in-command of the 4,200-member department.
In 2002, Mr. Gainer was sworn in as Chief of the United States Capitol Police, where he commanded a force of nearly 2,000 sworn and civilian personnel who provide comprehensive law enforcement, security, and protective operations services for the United States Congress, its staff, and more than 11 million annual visitors.
After leaving the USCP, Mr. Gainer entered the private sector as the Chief Executive Officer and President of Blue Falcon Solutions, LLC, focusing on law enforcement and emergency preparedness issues for The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and in the British West Indies. In 2006, Mr. Gainer was named Vice President and Program Manager, Law Enforcement Programs, International Group for MPRI an L-3 communications company. In that capacity, Mr. Gainer was responsible for a multi-million dollar innovative law enforcement program supporting Army and Marine operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Mr. Gainer was born in Chicago and received his Bachelor's degree in Sociology from St. Benedict's College in Atchison, Kansas. His Master of Science in Management of Public Service and Juris Doctor Degrees were awarded by DePaul University of Chicago. In May 2009, Mr. Gainer received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.
A graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, Mr. Gainer was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and Springfield campuses.
He is a decorated veteran who served as an advisor in Viet Nam and retired as a Captain in the United States Naval Reserve in 2000, having served in a variety of command and staff positions as a Surface Warfare Officer.
He is married to Irene Gainer, a nurse and attorney, serving as the Hearing Office Director of the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals at the Department of Health and Human Services. Both Irene and Terry are Eucharistic Ministers at their parish church in DC, Old St. Patrick’s. They have six children and 14 grandchildren.