New acting police chief shuffles commanders

April 21, 1994

Annapolis' acting police chief is wasting no time putting his mark on the department.

Yesterday, Col. Joseph S. Johnson released his plans to reorganize the department by shuffling commanders and consolidating divisions under his authority.

Colonel Johnson was named acting chief late Friday after Chief Harold M. Robbins Jr. resigned.

Under Chief Robbins, the department's administration had been divided between Colonel Johnson, who was assistant chief, and Chief Robbins.

In the reorganization that takes effect Monday, all division commanders will report to Colonel Johnson. The acting chief said he does not plan to have a deputy chief, but eventually wants two majors to oversee the divisions and report directly to him.

Most commanders were reassigned to capitalize on their strengths and to generate new energy and ideas in the divisions, Colonel Johnson said.

The most significant change, he said, was moving Capt. John Wright from the technical services division to patrol. Captain Wright, a 20-year veteran of the force, has a law degree, teaches at Anne Arundel Community College and has taught at the police academy.

The acting chief also moved Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins' daughter, Lt. Barbara Hopkins, from head of the administrative section to head of special operations, where she will oversee the neighborhood patrols, K-9 units, foot patrols and other special units.

Colonel Johnson said the move will give Lieutenant Hopkins greater field experience and take advantage of her administrative skills.

The acting chief said changes are likely in the lower ranks once the commanders take up their new duties.

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