Carroll panel approves police chief

Veteran of Howard force to start job next month


December 09, 2003|By Athima Chansanchai | Athima Chansanchai,SUN STAFF

Westminster's Common Council unanimously approved last night the appointment of a new police chief who has worked in a neighboring county for more than three decades.

Maj. William Jeff Spaulding, one of two deputy police chiefs in Howard County, beat out more than 60 other candidates when he was selected to head Carroll County's largest municipal police force.

"Chief Spaulding's name surfaced to the top from virtually the beginning," said Roy L. Chiavacci, a member of the search committee.

Mayor Kevin E. Dayhoff presented Spaulding for confirmation at the council's meeting Monday. He made the appointment after a four-month search carried out by a committee that included a number of local law enforcement officials and three of the five city council members - Chiavacci, council President Damian L. Halstad and Suzanne P. Albert.

A separate group of residents also weighed in on the candidates in closed meetings this month.

Maj. Dean A. Brewer has been acting chief of the 43-member police force since August, when Roger G. Joneckis retired as chief after 29 years with the department.

Spaulding, a Mount Airy resident, will continue to work in Howard County, where he oversees the administrative functions of that department, until Dec. 31. Two days later, he will take over the $82,000-a-year job in Westminster.

Spaulding joined Howard County's police department as a cadet in 1973, days after graduating from Glenelg High School.

He served as a patrol officer and detective before filling a series of supervisory positions in specialized units. As head of the vice and narcotics section, he targeted prostitution.

Spaulding, 48, commanded the northern patrol district before supervising about 300 officers as the deputy chief of police for operations. Last year, he switched to the department's administrative side, which deals with education, training, budgets, equipment, 911 and animal control.

As he rose through the ranks, Spaulding earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in management from the Johns Hopkins University, according to yesterday's announcement.

Council members praised Spaulding's background in community policing.

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