Terrance W. Gainer was appointed executive assistant chief of the Metropolitan Police Department in May 1998, the latest assignment in a law enforcement career that has spanned more than three decades of local, state and federal service.
As executive assistant chief, Gainer serves as second in command of the 4,200-member department, overseeing operational services carried by the the three Regional Operations Commands and the Special Services Branch.
A 1993 graduate of the FBI National Academy, Gainer has taught at national law enforcement training centers and the Chicago and Springfield campuses of the University of Illinois.
In March 1991, Gainer was appointed director of the 3,700-member State Police by Gov. Jim Edgar. In his eight years as director, he oversaw significant new programs and innovations in drunk driving enforcement, auto theft prevention and seat belt safety; technological advancements in forensics, fingerprint identification and criminal history records; the creation of anti-drug and -violence task forces in urban areas across the state; and community policing training and programmatic strategies for state and local police.
Gainer served for nearly two years in the U.S. Department of Transportation as Special Assistant to the Secretary and Director for Drug Enforcement and Compliance. In this capacity, he developed and implemented a nationwide drug testing program covering more than 220,000 employers regulated by the Transportation Department. From 1987 to 1989, he was deputy director of the Illinois State Police, serving as chief of staff and overseeing budget and labor matters.
Gainer entered Illinois state government in 1984, serving first as deputy inspector general, where he coordinated the state's response to child sexual abuse and helped to streamline the policies and operations of numerous state agencies. An accomplished attorney who was admitted to U.S. Supreme Court Bar in 1997, Chief Gainer served as the chief legal counsel of the Chicago Police Department from 1981 through 1984, where he negotiated the city's first labor contracts with the police union.
A native of Chicago, Chief Gainer is a decorated veteran who served in Vietnam, and today remains a captain in the United States Naval Reserve. He began his law enforcement career as a Chicago Police officer in 1968, and rose through the ranks as a homicide detective, sergeant and executive assistant in the Administrative Services bureau.
Chief Gainer received his bachelor's degree from St. Benedict's College in Atchison, Kansas, and both his master's and juris doctor degrees from DePaul University of Chicago.
He and his wife Irene have six children.