There's a job vacancy you might want to apply for in Pikesville. It pays $77,000 a year, with lots of government perks. You get to wear a uniform and carry a gun, too. And take all the free target practice you desire.
The position: superintendent of the Maryland State Police. It became available after Elmer H. Tippett Jr. announced on March that he was resigning, after four-and-a-half years, effective June 1. Mr. Tippett had done a pretty good job, but just wasn't the strong, commanding figure Gov. William Donald Schaefer wanted.
What tipped the governor against Mr. Tippett was the October march on the State House by hundreds of armed and uniformed state troopers protesting the governor's proposed budget cuts that would have trimmed their ranks and closed two barracks. That these officers surged into the Senate and House galleries, glowering down at the legislators, with guns in their holsters, was an intimidating factor that persuaded lawmakers it would be unwise to chop the State Police budget this way. Mr. Tippett's failure to stop this march, or to serve as a more effective conduit for the troopers' complaints to the governor, marked the beginning of the end for the superintendent.