County police chief reshuffles department Four divisions reduced to east and west sections

October 10, 1997|By Dail Willis | Dail Willis,SUN STAFF

In a move characterized as "evolutionary, not revolutionary," Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan announced yesterday that he had reorganized his agency to improve efficiencywithout cutting staff.

"It's just kind of flattening at the top to move toward long-term goals of putting that money into the support end of the operation," he said of the changes, which move two majors into new jobs and realign sections of the department.

Eventually, Sheridan said, he hopes that money saved by greater efficiency can find its way to what the department badly needs: technological equipment, such as computers.

"It really doesn't affect the rank and file. It's all captains and above," agreed Lt. Tim Caslin, president of the Fraternal Order of Police, the county police union. "Maybe in the long run, the chief expects to see the department operate in a more efficient manner. Maybe in a year or so, we'll find out we are doing things better."

Under the plan, the Police Department will be divided into an Operations Bureau and a Service Bureau, replacing a structure of three bureaus.

Col. M. Kim Ward will head the Service Bureau, which will include divisions for technology development and services, human services, training, administrative hearings and special events.

Col. Bernard Gerst will head the Operations Bureau, which will include divisions for Eastern and Western Patrols, investigations and support operations.

Sheridan said the changes would help the Police Department serve the community but did not represent a major restructuring.

"We have to remain flexible so we can meet the needs of our citizens," he said. "Right now, this is a very functional organization."

Under the old system, the police divided the county into four sections, with a major in charge of two precincts in each. Sheridan's changes divide the county in half, with Maj. Michael K. McCleese in charge of the Eastern Division. That division includes the precincts of Towson, Parkville-White Marsh, Essex and North Point.

The new Western Division will be led by Maj. Dennis M. Robinson, who will oversee the precincts of Wilkens, Woodlawn, Garrison and Cockeysville.

Maj. Jeffrey M. Caslin, who formerly oversaw the Towson and Parkville-White Marsh precincts, will become an executive officer in the Services Bureau, said police spokesman Bill Toohey. Maj. Michael H. Stelmack, who had been in charge of the Garrison and Cockeysville precincts, will head the Human Services Division, Toohey said.

Pub Date: 10/10/97

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