Police major removed as PAL chief retires Departure ends internal investigation into his conduct

December 04, 1996|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,SUN STAFF

A Baltimore police major who was removed as head of the Police Athletic League program amid an internal investigation into his conduct has retired from the force, ending a 26-year career with the department.

Maj. Frank Melcavage, 49, retired Monday. Details of the investigation, the subject of numerous rumors at the downtown police headquarters building, will not be made public.

"I'm not going to get in it," said spokesman Sam Ringgold. "It was an allegation that wasn't proved one way or another because the retirement stopped the investigation."

Ringgold and top department commanders repeatedly have stressed that the investigation had nothing to do with PAL, one of the department's premier community relations initiatives.

But the commanders confirmed that Melcavage was removed late last month from the PAL program because of the investigation. The day after police officials announced Melcavage's removal, they said he was being replaced permanently by Maj. Alvin Winkler.

Melcavage, reached at his home yesterday afternoon, would not describe the allegation lodged against him.

"It was an innocent private conversation with someone interpreted in a negative light," he said. "I don't think I should say anything. I'm not bitter. It was really time to go. I'm just looking for another job."

Last week, Commissioner Thomas C. Frazier described Winkler as "a wonderful representative of this Police Department. He embodies all the traits that are important in how we present ourselves to our neighborhoods and our youth."

Pub Date: 12/04/96

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