Timothy G. Timmons, Manchester's police chief, has resigned for family reasons after rising through the ranks of the four-man department to become its chief in 1997.
Manchester Mayor Christopher D'Amario said Tuesday the search for a police chief for the town of 3,200 has started.
"I am, as aggressively as I can, pursuing a new police chief," said D'Amario, a civilian employee of the Baltimore County Police Department. He has interviewed two people for the job, which pays up to $36,000 annually.
"It's amazing how quickly things get around. They called me," he said of the candidates. "They kind of dropped out of the sky."
D'Amario said Timmons told him during the holidays that he was resigning.
Timmons, a Vietnam War veteran, joined the Manchester police force eight years ago after serving for 23 years with Baltimore City police as a patrolman, tactical officer and homicide detective. His resignation took effect Monday.
He could not be reached for comment.
D'Amario told the Town Council about the resignation in a closed session at the end of Tuesday's meeting. He said he apologized for not telling them sooner, explaining that he was focused upon how to guarantee police coverage for the town and didn't want to publicize the vacancy.
"In retrospect, I guess I could have told them," D'Amario said yesterday. "But it was my duty to handle it. They couldn't do anything about it."
Lt. Terry L. Katz, commander of the Westminster barracks of the Maryland State Police, said he spoke with Timmons last week. "He's always been very, very helpful to us and very involved in his community. But your family comes first."
Katz said the town's police do not provide 24-hour protection, and that state police would fill in the gaps. "What we do in these areas is alter our patrols to make sure we have people in that area."