Sheriff names former colleague with police as his chief deputy Tankersley to replace retiring Thomas

March 05, 1997|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Sheriff George F. Johnson IV has picked another friend from his days in the county Police Department to be his second in command, naming William Albert Tankersley Sr. chief deputy sheriff.

Tankersley will replace Dale R. Thomas, who is retiring after 19 months in the post to care for his ailing mother, Johnson said yesterday.

Thomas came to the sheriff's office after serving two decades in the county Police Department with Johnson.

Tankersley, who was in the department for 28 years, will be working for someone he used to supervise.

Tankersley was Johnson's boss in the early 1980s, when Johnson was an evidence technician in the homicide unit, and again in the early 1990s, when Johnson was a sergeant in the criminal investigation division.

Tankersley was the sergeant in charge of homicide and later the lieutenant overseeing crimes against persons.

"I asked him directly if he had a problem with that and he said, 'Absolutely not,' " Johnson said.

Johnson said that although he and Tankersley are good friends, that was not the main reason he picked the Kent Island resident for the $42,000-a-year position.

"I wanted to make sure that I picked someone that was very close to my management style," the sheriff said. "I quickly settled on him as being the person to fill the vacancy."

Tankersley, 50, retired from the Police Department as a lieutenant in December 1995. His last position was as a shift commander in the Eastern District.

"I'm really kind of surprised to see how different it is from the Police Department," Tankersley said. "I was more daily on the road as a shift commander."

In his new job, he will oversee the civil process, criminal warrant and child support sections of the sheriff's office and will work with the security bureau to handle the transition to the new circuit court building in Annapolis.

Since he retired, Tankersley, who is married and has three children, had been doing maintenance work at Mears Point Marina on Kent Island.

Johnson also announced yesterday that the sheriff's office is operating a site on the World Wide Web where people can look up photographs of most-wanted criminals, get safety tips, view photographs of the new courthouse and get other information. The office will soon add listings of parents who have failed to pay child support.

The site can be reached at http: //

"It's just another means to reach out to the public," Johnson said.

And, in an effort to distinguish sheriff's vehicles from county police cruisers, the office is spending about $180 a car to change the lettering and striping on about a dozen cars. Instead of the sheriff's shield on the doors and brown horizontal stripes, the vehicles will bear the word "SHERIFF" in black capital letters on the doors and will have black and gold stripes.

Pub Date: 3/05/97

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