A retired police colonel who actively supported Sheriff Robert E. Comes' campaign last year has been hired by the Sheriff's Department toserve as a part-time consultant.
Frank G. Messina will be paid $28 an hour for consulting work, up to a maximum of $35,000 a year.
The one-year contract with Messina was approved by the seven-member county Board of Estimates April 5. The board reviews bids and proposals for major government purchases and contracts.
Messina was the only one considered for the contract, said DeWayne Curry, spokesmanfor the Sheriff's Department.
The Joppa resident spent 28 years at the Baltimore County Police Department before retiring in 1987.
Messina is the second of Comes' campaign supporters to be hired by the Sheriff's Department. Another supporter -- Thomas P. Broumel, the former Bel Air police chief -- was hired as the sheriff's second-in-command earlier this year.
Baltimore County Police Chief Cornelius J. Behan wrote Messina a letter of recommendation for the consulting job.
Messina will be responsible for helping Comes establish a traffic unit that will enforce motor-vehicle laws and investigate accidents,Broumel said.
Traffic enforcement and accidents are now handledby state police in most of Harford County. Comes said during the election that he wanted to establish a traffic unit.
Broumel said Messina also will revise the department's mutual-aid agreements with police agencies in Aberdeen, Bel Air, Havre de Grace and Baltimore County.
Messina will help prepare similar agreements between the Sheriff's Department and police agencies in Cecil County and York County, Pa., Broumel said.
In addition, Messina will help Comes revise the department's procedures for promotions and job evaluations at the 250-member agency, Broumel said.
Starting at Baltimore County department as a patrolman in 1959, Messina retired as the chief of field operations, according to his resume. He was responsible for 85 percent of the department's 1,550 sworn personnel.
While working in Baltimore County, Messina served as commanding officer of the department's eastern, central and western traffic divisions. He also was commandingofficer of the Dundalk, Edgemere and Essex precincts, among other assignments.
Messina has an associate's degree in criminal justice from Essex Community College. He also is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and the Federal Executive Institute.