In 9 1/2 months last year, Detective Lee C. Lachman of the Howard County Police Department arrested three men wanted for robbing and killing an armored car driver, apprehended a man who was making obscene telephone calls to a rape crisis center, and obtained the first conviction for a man arrested under the state's spousal rape law.
In reflecting on Lachman's police record, Police Chief James N. Robey told the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association meeting this week in Ocean City that "no police officer in the (department) can match his accomplishments" for last year.
For his work, the group selected Lachman, 27, as its eighth annual policeman of the year. Lachman, his wife, Betty, and their 10-month-old son, Louis, joined the week-long gathering.
Frederick Police Chief Richard Ashton, who headed the nomination committee, said he was impressed not only with the detective's arrest and conviction rate but also with the difficult cases he handled.
"I love it," Lachmansaid after receiving the Medal of Honor. "There's a lot of hours andhard work involved, but there is a lot of diversity that you don't find elsewhere."
In July 1990, Lachman was given the task of looking into the robbery and murder of a Loomis armored car driver that hadoccurred seven months earlier inColumbia. He made quick work of the matter by arresting three people, two of whom have already been triedand convicted.
When a 43-year-old Oakland Mills woman was found murdered in her apartment last year, the detective used information from a stolen credit card to track down the culprit.
And he arresteda man who made obscene telephone calls to the Rape Crisis Center, attempting to solicit dates from as many as nine counselors.
In the case of a 17-year-old girl who claimed to have been raped, Lachman established that she had filed a false report after breaking up with her boyfriend.
A 33-year-old woman last year claimed she had been abducted from a shopping center by two police officers and raped. She was found in the basement of her home with minor knife wounds. Throughinvestigation, Lachman determined that the woman had made up the report and inflicted the wounds herself to gain more attention from her husband.
Lachman's career with the department began in 1987 when he was named rookie of the year.
In addition to being selected the department's policeman of the year, Lachman received similar awards last year from the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, the Maryland LawEnforcement Officers Association and the Howard County Exchange Club. In 1987 he was also named policeman of the year by the Howard County Optimist Club. He was nominated for the Evening Sun's Policeman of the Year awards in 1987 and 1990.
Lachman said he sees it all as being in a day's work.