Three veteran troopers leave, six rookies start at barracks

January 07, 1999|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Three veteran troopers, including two former Troopers of the Year, have transferred to new posts and six rookie graduates of the Maryland State Police Academy will bolster the ranks at the Westminster barracks.

Cpl. Douglas W. Reitz, Tfc. Chris Hannon and Trooper Dave Thomas have left and Troopers James Ardinger, Kurt Dominick, Matthew Devalk, Jerry Schlossnagle, Jeffrey Leppert and Timothy Shrout have arrived, said 1st Sgt. Eric Danz, barracks spokesman.

Reitz was honored as Trooper of the Year in 1996 and Hannon in 1997.

Reitz has been promoted to corporal and shifted to the Prince Frederick barracks. Hannon has joined the Governor's Executive Protection Unit, based in Annapolis, Danz said.

Thomas has moved to the Forestville barracks.

"Any time veteran troopers leave -- especially two former Troopers of the Year -- their experience will be missed," Danz said.

"But you have to be happy for them as their careers are progressing," he said.

Reitz, 31, a 10-year veteran, was honored after handling more than 850 calls in 1996, the year he made a barracks-leading 90 driving-while-intoxicated arrests and 13 drug traffic stops.

Hannon, 38, was honored for 1997, when he made the arrest in a double homicide involving domestic violence and cracked a mail theft case in which juveniles rifled about 45 mailboxes to steal credit cards.

The first-year troopers have been assigned to road patrol, riding with a veteran trooper for an eight-week probationary period, Danz said.

In other barracks business, Danz said troopers assigned to road patrol will begin working 10-hour shifts June 30 in a trial to determine if overtime costs can be reduced and productivity increased.

The new deployment is expected to increase scheduling flexibility, said Danz, who wants to meet with court officials to help avoid conflicts involving troopers' courtroom appearances.

Danz said an overlap of shifts would afford greater protection, putting more troopers on patrol six hours a day.

Pub Date: 1/07/99

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