Reserve officers get the job done ANNE ARUNDEL SENIORS

December 30, 1992|By Amy P. Ingram | Amy P. Ingram,Contributing Writer

For most of their 67 years, Ray Hoerl and Charlie Muhl have been volunteering to fight fires. Now that they've retired, they've gone on to fighting crime as volunteers with the county police reserve force.

And they've done such a job of it that the department honored them just before Christmas with awards recognizing them as the most dedicated of the 62 members of the reserve force for the past 10 years.

Both of them logged more than 2,000 hours in the past year, helping to answer phones, book prisoners, direct traffic at accident scenes and report suspicious activities.

They've even gone on a call or two.

Mr. Hoerl coordinates volunteers at the Northern District station, while Mr. Muhl handles volunteers at the Eastern District station.

And they don't "just coordinate the other reserve volunteers," said Officer Guy Della of the crime prevention unit. "They go and do the jobs themselves."

Officer Della estimated that Mr. Hoerl and Mr. Muhl and the other reserve volunteers saved the county $351,000 this year by covering administrative work while police were on the street.

Mr. Hoerl, a former member of Maryland's Search and Rescue team and the Odenton Volunteer Fire Department, said he wanted to do more than "just sit and watch television" after he re-tired.

"I love to volunteer my time," he said. "I like to help people -- and that's all there is to it."

Mr. Hoerl, who lives in Glen Burnie, not only coordinates 15 reserve members at Northern District, but he also works with the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and helps with patrol work and fingerprinting and transporting prisoners.

Mr. Muhl, a former volunteer with both the Rivera Beach and Lake Shore fire departments in Pasadena, said he decided to join the reserve when he realized he was, "too old to climb ladders and too old to roll hose."

He said he's spent more than 40 years doing some kind of "out-on-a-limb" volunteer work because it is exciting and sometimes dangerous.

Five years ago, he and a county police officer were sent to find a man armed with a gun and a machete who was hiding in Cromwell Field in Glen Burnie.

After searching for several minutes, an unarmed Mr. Muhl found the man cowering in a ditch.

Mr. Muhl, of Jacobsville, said he isn't worried about the danger. ,, "You've got to use common sense," he said. "To me a prisoner is like water -- respect it."

At the awards ceremony, Mr. Hoerl and Mr. Muhl receiveribbons and plaques for their service.

Mr. Muhl also received the Chief's Award, a new one this year designed to honor the reserve volunteer who has been the most versatile, dedicated and hard-working.

Capt. Gary Brown of the Northern District said, "They have provided an invaluable contribution to us. If I didn't have their help we'd have to pull officers off of the street."

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