Terrance W. Gainer
Terry Gainer
Born (1947-08-01) August 1, 1947 (age 74)[1]
Police career
DepartmentChicago Police Department
Illinois State Police
United States Capitol Police
Service yearsChicago Police Department: 1968–1987
Illinois State Police: 1987, 1991–1998
United States Capitol Police: 2002–2006
RankSergeant at Arms of the United States Senate

Terrance William Gainer (born August 1, 1947) is a former law enforcement officer and was the 38th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate[2] and served in that position from January 4, 2007 to May 2, 2014.

Before Gainer continued his law enforcement career in Washington, D.C., he was the Republican candidate for Cook County State's Attorney in the 1988 election, losing to then-incumbent Richard M. Daley.[3]

Life and career

Born in 1947 in Evergreen Park, Illinois,[4] Gainer graduated from St. Benedict's College (now Benedictine College) in 1969 with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology,[5] and he went on to obtain a Master of Science in management and public service and Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from DePaul University.[6] Gainer is a decorated veteran who served in the Vietnam War, and he served as a captain in the United States Navy Reserve until 2000.[7]

During his law enforcement career, Gainer served with the Chicago Police Department[8] as deputy Inspector General of Illinois, deputy director of the Illinois State Police and in the United States Department of Transportation[7] before he was appointed as director of the Illinois State Police in the Cabinet of Governor Jim Edgar in March 1991.[9] Gainer went on to serve as executive assistant police chief, as second in command of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia under Chief Charles H. Ramsey, beginning in March 1998[10] and as chief of the United States Capitol Police from June 2, 2002 to March 3, 2006.[11] In addition, Gainer served as the Director of Emergency Preparedness for The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington. During his time with the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington, Gainer worked extensively with non-profit organizations (such as hospitals, schools and charities) to help them formulate a coordinated response for emergency preparedness in the Washington, DC metropolitan region.[12]

On November 14, 2006, Gainer was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) as the Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate beginning with the 110th United States Congress.[13]

During his time as Sergeant at Arms, Gainer proposed a security fence called the Capital Gateway be built around the perimeter of the United States Capitol, similar to the fence around the White House. The plan was rejected for cost reasons. After the 2021 storming of the United States Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, a temporary fence was erected where the Capital Gateaway would have been erected to deter further attacks.[14]

In March, 2014, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced that Gainer planned on retiring as Senate Sergeant at Arms, and would be replaced by Senate Deputy Sergeant at Arms Drew Willison.[15] Willison was made the new sergeant at arms and doorkeeper of the Senate on May 5, 2014.[citation needed]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Reid announces democratic leadership for the 110th Congress. Archived 2010-08-30 at the Wayback Machine (2006, November 14). United States Senate. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  3. ^ Brune, T. (1995, November). The stated top cop hits a brass ceiling. Archived September 10, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Illinois Issues, 21(11), pp. 18–20. Retrieved May 18, 2007.
  4. ^ Lawyer profile: Terrance W. Gainer. (2005). FindLaw. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  5. ^ Successful Outcomes. Archived September 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine (2005, August). Raven Wire. Benedictine College. Retrieved January 6, 2007 (Adobe Acrobat Reader required for viewing).
  6. ^ Mayor names police chief finalists: National search narrows to five. Archived September 27, 2011, at the Wayback Machine (2002, April 4). City of Atlanta (GA). Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  7. ^ a b Chief of Police, United States Capitol Police Biography. Archived March 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine National Homeland Defense Foundation. Retrieved January 7, 2007 (Adobe Acrobat Reader required for viewing).
  8. ^ Terrance W. Gainer-United States Senate
  9. ^ Winski, J. (1998, June). People: Shifts at the top. Archived September 9, 2006, at the Wayback Machine Illinois Periodicals Online. Retrieved December 17, 2006.
  10. ^ Executive Assistant Chief Terrance W. Gainer Archived May 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  11. ^ Statement of Chief Terrance W. Gainer. Archived 2006-09-24 at the Wayback Machine (2006, March 3). U.S. Capitol Police. Retrieved December 12, 2006.
  12. ^ Terrance Gainer – Survival guide: Perspectives from the field.[permanent dead link] (2006, August 7). Washington Technology, 21(15). Retrieved January 23, 2007.[dead link]
  13. ^ Reid announces Democratic Leadership of 110th Congress Archived March 2, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. (2006, November 14). Office of Senator Harry Reid. Retrieved January 6, 2007.
  14. ^ Kassel, Matthew (January 7, 2021). "The Senate sergeant-at-arms proposed a wrought-iron perimeter fence in 2013". Jewish Insider. Retrieved January 8, 2021.
  15. ^ Senate sergeant at arms to retire (TheHill article)

Media related to Terrance W. Gainer at Wikimedia Commons

Political offices Preceded byWilliam H. Pickle 38th Sergeant at Arms of the United States Senate2007–2014 Succeeded byAndrew B. Willison