One-fifth of resident troopers shuffled Changes are spurred by Md. violent crimes initiative, promotions

September 05, 1997|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

A shuffle in state police assignments -- to be effective Wednesday -- will affect nearly 20 percent of the resident trooper force in Carroll County.

The shift starts at the top, as Lt. Leonard M. Armstrong will replace Capt. Lawrence E. Faries as commander of the Westminster barracks.

Many of the changes stem from a statewide violent crimes initiative by Col. David B. Mitchell, superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Armstrong said. Promotions, retirements and routine requests for reassignment account for the remaining job moves.

Faries earned one of the promotions, being named executive officer for the central region. Based at the Waterloo barracks, Faries will oversee operations in Howard, Montgomery, Prince George's and Carroll counties.

Armstrong, a 27-year veteran, is making a lateral move from the North East barracks in Cecil County, where he has served as commander since earning the rank of lieutenant in January.

The biggest challenge in his new assignment, said Armstrong, will be "managing the resources for the largest contingency of troopers in the state."

Armstrong will have about 100 troopers and civilian staff members under his command.

The resident trooper program, which costs Carroll taxpayers $3.4 million annually, is a cooperative agreement with the state to provide countywide law enforcement, investigative services and

assistance to five municipal police forces and the county Sheriff's Department.

"I know I have a lot of experienced [men and women] on the staff to rely on as I get settled in," Armstrong said. "I am very excited to know that Captain Faries will be close by to assist in the transition."

Once on the job, Armstrong said he will have the chance to look for crime trends in Carroll. "I am anxious to meet and interact with the [county] commissioners, the judges, town mayors, other police departments and those in the state's attorney's office," he said.

Armstrong, 49, lives in Carroll County with Pat, his wife of 27 years. They have three grown children.

Other changes at the Westminster barracks include:

1st Sgt. Eric Danz, previously assigned to the state police aviation division, replaces 1st Sgt. Robert Windsor, who retired June 30 to become an investigator for the state's attorney in Carroll County. First sergeants work directly under the commander.

Danz, who lives in Carroll County, has served previously as a criminal investigator at the Westminster barracks, said 1st Sgt. Andy Mays, a spokesman for the barracks.

Tfc. David A. Hoff, Tfc. Donald J. Harrison, Tfc. James T. Dewees and Tfc. Gary R. Lang leave to join Special Tactical Assault Team Element (STATE), a commando-like unit whose members respond to hostage or barricade situations.

Cpl. Ronald W. Cullison, the Trooper of the Year in 1995, leaves to join the Columbia-based Special Investigative Services Unit (SISU), which tackles cases that are cold, complex or require undercover duty.

Tfc. Danielle Barry will become the first regional domestic

violence coordinator.

In a position funded by a federal grant, Barry will work in Carroll, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties, overseeing investigations involving crimes of domestic violence.

Sgts. Richard A. Vicera and Robert Smith also are leaving.

Vicera moves to Glen Burnie, and Smith will be first sergeant at the Cumberland barracks.

Internal changes at Westminster involve promotions to the rank of sergeant of Cpls. Michael Smith and Gloria Wilson. They shift from the criminal investigation division to serve as duty officers.

Transferring from road patrol to the criminal investigative division are newly promoted Cpl. Andrew G. Winner and Tfc. Darin Wagner and Tfc. Alfred Eways.

New troopers assigned to Westminster include Tfc. Padraic E. Lacy, from Glen Burnie, and Trooper Kevin R. Zuzak, from Forestville.

With a half-dozen probationary troopers expected to begin full-time duties on road patrol and rookies coming from the current class at the state police academy, the net effect will be one less trooper assigned to the Westminster barracks, Mays said.

Pub Date: 9/05/97

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