Comings & Goings

By Peter Rosenstein - December 24, 2020 10:04 am

Brett Parson, gay news, Washington BladeBrett Parson (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The Comings & Goings column is about sharing the professional successes of our community. We want to recognize those landing new jobs, new clients for their business, joining boards of organizations and other achievements. Please share your successes with us at: comingsandgoings@washblade.com.

Congratulations to Brett A. Parson on the formation of his consulting firm, Brett A. Parson Consulting. Parson has more than 25 years’ experience in local, state, and federal law enforcement. He is an internationally recognized leader who has championed award-winning innovations in multiple areas. During his time with the Metropolitan Police Department, in Washington, D.C., he created the Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit, which received Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Innovations in Government Award, along with a $100,000 grant to help replicate the program. His roles have taken him across almost all aspects of MPD, working in vice, narcotics, gun recovery, alcohol-related crimes, bias-related (hate) crimes, domestic violence, violent crimes (sexual abuse and homicides), and supervising the city’s elite Narcotics Strike Force.

Currently he is working for The Georgetown University Law Center’s Innovative Policing Project ABLE. He said, “I am super excited about this project. ABLE seeks to change the culture of policing, by teaching officers when to intervene and how to effectively intervene when they see a fellow officer about to do something harmful or stop harm while it is occurring.” He added, “Imagine if the three officers who were present when Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd had this training and skills and confidence to save Mr. Floyd. The added benefit is that departments where this program has been implemented have seen a wholesale change in their culture.”  

Parson is working with Out to Protect, a group of police officers who are creating a network of liaison officers around the world. He is a member of their board. He also works for the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Association (IACLEA). He is president of the local chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors and the Shomrim Society.

Parson was recognized by MPD many times including as Officer of the Year, and Supervisor of the Year and received awards from groups including U.S. Attorney’s Office – Washington, D.C., the Human Rights Campaign, and Children’s National Medical Center.

Congratulations also to Derek Smith who is the new manager at HalfSmoke, in D.C. He said, “Come visit me as your resident manager for an amazing experience at HalfSmoke at Florida and 7th Streets NW! Especially for unlimited Happy Hour!” He reminds all COVID precautions are fully observed.

For the past eight years, he worked as a private chef in East Hampton, N.Y. and D.C. He has worked as catering sales specialist at Breadline (by La Madeleine); dining assistant manager at Hay-Adams Hotel; and catering manager at Marriott Food Service, Northfield, Vt.

Smith served in the United States Air Force and received a number of medals including the Air Medal (twice), for combat missions flown in Afghanistan; the aerial Achievement Medal, for combat support missions flown in the Middle Eastern theater; and Air Force Commendation Medal for Quick Diagnosis and repair of C-130 aircraft while under attack.

Derek Smith


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