Fine detective gone from city because of questionable policy


August 12, 1994|By DAN RODRICKS

Will the policy of Baltimore's new police commissioner to have officers change posts every few years, regardless of performance, lead to an exodus of experienced cops?

Here's a partial answer: Gary Childs is gone. Yesterday was his first day on the job as an investigator for the Carroll County state's attorney.

For the last several years, he had been one of the city's top detectives, solving dozens of murders and logging amazing numbers of hours chasing good and bad leads on countless cases.

City taxpayers, we got our money's worth. In 23 years, Childs never called in sick. He was a committed guy. But the new rotation policy meant that Childs faced returning to uniformed patrol.

So, the farewell party was Wednesday night in Parkville. A large crowd heard a reading of Childs' outstanding record, and then the guest of honor himself spoke, but he became too emotional and handed his prepared statement to a colleague to finish. We've seen Gary Childs get emotional before, such as that time he lost his partner and friend, Marty Ward, when an undercover operation turned nightmare.

Gary Childs gave a lot to the city. He deserved better than a rotation policy. Too bad the mayor didn't get involved in the Childs matter the way he did in another of the commissioner's decisions -- the proposed transfer of the commander from the Northwestern District.

Say it's not so

So let me get this straight.

American Joe Miediusewski serves nearly 20 years as a Baltimore legislator (delegate and senator) and does nothing that anyone in Annapolis remembers as significant, was the only city senator to have voted against the ban on assault pistols, airs campaign commercials that either exploit anti-city sentiment or ridicule his opponent's record instead of presenting substance about his own, and we're supposed to be considering him for governor?

I must be missing something. . . Tell you this, though: Assuming his underdog campaign comes up short, you can count every vote Miediusewski gets against Parris Glendening in the Democratic primary as a cross-over for Helen Bentley in the November general. No wonder Don Donaldo loves him.

The human traffic light

Royal Parker Pollokoff, longtime Baltimore TV personality and first-time candidate for the House of Delegates, campaigned in the 42d District Wednesday morning, doing that waving-to-rush-hour-motorists thing at Northern Parkway and Roland Avenue, when the traffic lights went kaput.

It was shortly after 8. No cops in sight. Parker sees a chance to save the day (and maybe score votes). What's that big lovable mensch do? He directs traffic. For 20 minutes. Royal was a big hit, too. As they drove by and waved their thanks, several motorists were heard to exclaim: "Look. It's P. W. Doodle!"

The art of avoidance

We don't know the fellow's name -- inquiry was made four days ago to the Baltimore Department of Public Works, Office of Public Information, and we still haven't heard back from anyone over there -- but he is apparently a hero.

Maggi Ayd, who was stopped at a red light in the left-turn lane of Northern Parkway, westbound, at Falls Road (the hill from hell), reports that the driver of a city sanitation truck made an extraordinary maneuver to avoid collision with her car.

"My guardian angel must have been riding with that young man," she says. This happened Monday, 9:05 a.m. The truck was coming down the notorious nob behind Ayd's car when the driver, apparently realizing he had no brakes, tacked hard to port, bounced over the median strip, tipped to two wheels, slid sideways and ended up on Falls. Luckily, eastbound traffic on Northern Parkway was at a halt. We don't know the fellow's name -- did I mention I called DPW and nobody over there called back? -- but good show getting out of a jam.

Local lad on silver screen

Look and listen -- and I suggest doing it at the Senator Theatre -- for Jari Villanueva, Catonsville-based musician, director of the Water Street Swing Society, bugle boy and one of the hardest-working guys in show biz, in the new Harrison Ford film, "Clear and Present Danger."

Villanueva is a master sergeant/trumpeter with the U.S. Air Force Band, which can be seen and heard performing his arrangement of "Going Home" during a remains-arrival scene at Andrews. . . In real life, Villanueva has performed at dozens of military affairs. And he regularly plays taps at veterans' funerals. He performed that service Monday at Arlington for James H. Barrett, the retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and ex-Annapolitan who was killed July 29, allegedly by a "pro-life" zealot, along with the doctor he was escorting to a Florida abortion clinic.

Roadhouse reception

Great scene last Saturday night in Essex: At Joey's, the rockin' roadhouse with the purple lava lamp on the bar, a bride and groom, still in tux and gown, danced into the place, between sets by Ronnie Dove and Johnny Tillotson. Wish we'd had a camera. . . One other oldies-bar note: Partners, still thriving despite the threat posed by all that construction on Ponca Street, features the return of Steve Cochran, the Rock 'n' Roll Doctor, Tuesday night at 9.

How sweet it would be

Would you believe a candy factory in the Inner Harbor? I don't have all the details yet, but word is Mary Sue Candies, makers of the famous Easter eggs, might move operations to a spot on Key Highway and open the doors to tourists. I smell a winner.

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