To Howard County Police officer Robert H. Wagner, a picture is worthmore than 1,000 words.
Most of those words have been heckling andgood-hearted ridicule from his fellow officers, who have been givinghim steady jabs about his photo on the cover of November issue of Baltimore magazine.
"He's GQ material!" a voice yelled in the background of the police station as he answered the phone to talk to a reporter about his sudden fame. "What a face!"
Well, Wagner, who posed for a cover story about metropolitan-area crime, said fame had its price. Although his chiseled good looks were captured well in the cover picture, it took more than six hours of poses and several hundred photographs beforethe job was done.
"We went out on Triadelphia Road, and I posed in the car, out of the car, in front of the car, next to the car, you name it," said Wagner, 29, an eight-year county police veteran. "The picture they finally got on the cover was one of the last ones we took. You can see it was getting dark."
Wagner said he has been steadily ribbed by other officers, who have jokingly told him they never thought Robert Wagner
(that is, the movie actor Robert Wagner) was working in the police department.
"These guys probably won't stop saying this stuff until I retire," said Wagner, a Baltimore County resident who works in the tactical division.
Posing for a magazine cover as somewhat of a Glamour Cop is not something Wagner expected a few weeks ago, when he was informed that he had been selected to represent the department in a cover photo.
Sgt. Gary Gardner, the police department's public information officer, was contacted by Baltimore magazine, which was looking for a police officer to pose for pictures.
"It was up to me to pick someone, and I picked someone who I thought would make a good appearance," Gardner said. "Sure, he's good-looking, but he's also a good police officer. Looks weren't everything."
Gardner said he has been made aware of all the puns and jokes being made at Wagner's expense since the picture came out.
"With all the jokes being played on him, he can't be sure who he's talking to anymore," Gardner said. When the Howard County Sun left a message for Wagner to call back for an interview about the picture, Gardner said, "He came up to me and said, 'Is this for real, or is somebody putting me on again?' "