Westminster trooper climbs ladder of respect

May 01, 1994|By Bill Talbott | Bill Talbott,Sun Staff Writer

Tfc. Douglas W. Reitz has gone from cadet to being recognized as one of the top troopers in the Westminster state police barracks in a little more than five years.

Last week, Trooper Reitz missed winning The Sun's annual Police Officer of the Year award -- he was one of 10 state troopers nominated. But it was clear from his nomination by Lt. Roy Neigh, the Westminster barracks commander, that the trooper's performance is stellar.

"Trooper Reitz is among the top performers at the Westminster barracks in criminal and motor vehicle enforcement. His statistics reflect initiative, motivation, thoroughness and superb investigation skills," Lieutenant Neigh said.

During nine months last year, the trooper made 41 arrests of adults, 13 of juveniles and 41 for driving while intoxicated. He also arrested six peo

ple on drug charges and issued 594 traffic citations and 207 warnings.

Trooper Reitz became a state police cadet after his graduation ++ from North Carroll High School in 1985. He spent six months at the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division's West Friendship scale house and two years with the division's roving crew in Carroll County.

He was appointed to the state police academy when he turned 21, and graduated 11th in his class, Lieutenant Neigh said.

His first assignment as a trooper was at the Rockville barracks. Because he was aggressive in enforcement, he served on that barracks' bus and truck patrol, mostly on the Capital Beltway.

Trooper Reitz came to the Westminster barracks in 1990 and was assigned to the resident trooper program.

In a highlighted case in September 1992, Trooper Reitz chased a stolen car in Taneytown and arrested a man who was wanted in New Jersey, Virginia and Connecticut for rape, numerous burglaries and thefts. The man gave the trooper a false name but was identified through fingerprints.

That arrest also solved several burglaries and thefts in Carroll County, Lieutenant Neigh said.

In March 1993, Trooper Reitz was able -- through a routine traffic stop -- to provide the Carroll County Narcotics Task Force with evidence to prosecute a man for distribution of PCP, or phencyclidine.

When the man was arrested, the trooper smelled PCP in the vehicle, searched it and discovered 449.79 grams of the drug. Lieutenant Neigh said the task force had been investigating the man but, until then, had been unable to obtain enough evidence to arrest him.

Trooper Reitz serves as the resource trooper for Westminster High School, where he has developed an outstanding rapport with the faculty and students, Lieutenant Neigh said. This has vTC led other schools to create similar programs with state police, he said.

The trooper also is an adviser to the Law Enforcement Explorer Scout Post at the Westminster barracks.

In his other spare time, he gives safety lectures to younger children at Friendship Valley Elementary School.

"He presents an outstanding image, both on and off duty, of the state police," the lieutenant said.

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