New commander named for Westminster barrack

Changes made throughout state police's leadership

October 29, 2004|By Gina Davis | Gina Davis,SUN STAFF

As part of sweeping changes among state police leadership, the Westminster barrack has a new commander, and its outgoing commander has been transferred to a division of the Homeland Security and Investigation Bureau.

For Lt. A. Dean Richardson, who started his command of the Westminster barrack this week, it's a move that brings him full circle.

Richardson - whose most recent assignment was an assistant commander of Howard County's Waterloo barrack - began his career with the state police 33 years ago as a cadet. In 1974, he was assigned as a road trooper in Westminster.

He has spent about 25 years, off and on, working in Carroll County. He served as assistant commander of the Westminster barrack from 1998 to last year.

This week's assignment is his first at the helm.

"I'm back where I started as a very young trooper on the road," he said. "You have to be honored that you're selected to manage a barrack of this magnitude."

Richardson, 52, said he expects to retire in a few years and "it looks like I will retire where I started."

Under the state police reorganization, lieutenants are returning as commanders of the barracks, and captains will serve as division heads, he said.

Westminster's outgoing commander, Capt. Scott Yinger, was assigned to lead the criminal investigative division of the Homeland Security and Investigation Bureau.

Yinger will oversee the state police's cold case, computer crimes and homicide units. He had been commander of the Westminster barrack since August last year.

"Capt. Yinger has a great reputation as commander," said Maj. Greg Shipley, spokesman for the state police. "He is regarded as a good leader who gets results and will be able to assist in accomplishing the department's missions."

Yinger, who lives in Carroll County, said he expects his new role will provide opportunities to interact with many of the people he has worked with in the county.

"We're here to assist any of the state police agencies" in efforts to reduce crime statewide, he said. He added that his new job will involve finding ways to "best serve the county on a local and statewide level."

The barrack change brings Westminster its third commander in less than three years. While acknowledging that the frequent changes have been unusual for Westminster, Shipley said he expects more stability.

"The previous commander had been there for four years," he said. But "we've also had three superintendents at state police in less than three years. Whenever there is change at the top, there is change in the ranks. Now that Col. [Thomas E.] Hutchins, [secretary of the Department of State Police], has made these changes, I believe there will be more stability at Westminster and throughout the department."

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