A reorganization within the Maryland State Police command structure, effective today, brings criminal investigators under direct supervision of local barracks commanders.
In Westminster, the state's largest barracks with about 115 troopers and civilian support staff, Lt. Leonard Armstrong, barracks commander, said the change means he has the opportunity to better deploy his troops.
Previously, detectives working in Westminster reported to Detective Sgt. Bruce Smith, who received his orders from upper command in the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement based in Howard County.
Under the new structure, detectives will serve under Armstrong within the Field Operations Bureau of the Maryland State Police.
Smith has been promoted to lieutenant and has moved to Hagerstown as barracks commander.
His replacement, Detective Sgt. Nick Plazio, who formerly worked in Westminster, has transferred from the Glen Burnie barracks.
Plazio will direct investigators assigned to the Westminster barracks.
Armstrong said the change allows him to send an investigator on another assignment.
In Westminster, 1st Sgt. Andy Mays left, and Sgt. Dean Richardson was promoted to first sergeant.
Mays served in Westminster for more than 20 years. He has shifted to the Golden Ring barracks in Baltimore County.
In other transfers, Sgt. J. W. Long returns to Westminster after one year at the Centreville barracks, and Sgt. Gloria Wilson leaves to join the recruiting division at state police headquarters in Pikesville.
Sgt. Doug Whelan has been promoted to detective sergeant and has joined the state police auto theft unit.
Newly promoted to sergeant were Robert Wininger, Doug Zeller and Kevin Utz. Wininger remained in Westminster, Zeller transferred from Bel Air and Utz has left to be a paramedic for the state police aviation division.
Cpl. Mark Long has transferred to the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and Tfc. Greg Cullison has been promoted to the rank of corporal.
Cpl. Mark Webster has transferred to Bel Air.
Westminster also has lost Trooper Dave Brauning, who joined the computer crimes unit, and Trooper Mark Judge, who has transferred to the Criminal Investigative Unit and assigned elsewhere.
Three troopers who live in Carroll County have transferred to Westminster. John Knight came from Salisbury, and Brad Hargest and Timothy Kocevar have arrived from Leonardtown.
Armstrong also said that Trooper Jeffrey Shipley, a July graduate of the state police training academy, has completed field training and will join his troops on road patrol.
Pub Date: 9/09/98