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Randy Rourke named officer of the year

November 12, 1998

Randy Rourke:Officer of the yearBy MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

photo: RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer




For the past four years, Randy Rourke has been putting time and effort into his job as Hagerstown City Police crime prevention officer.

But the veteran police officer doesn't have statistics to show that he is doing a good job because it's hard to measure crimes that don't happen.

The Hagerstown Exchange Club nonetheless saw the value of the work Rourke is doing and named him Police Officer of the Year on Thursday.

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"The question is what is more important - dealing with crime after it occurs or preventing it before it happens," said Exchange Club member Rick Tidler.

In honoring Rourke, the Hagerstown Exchange Club pointed out the qualities the 16-year veteran brings to his job.

Rourke organizes neighborhood watch groups, conducts security surveys, runs the citizens police academies and the Officer Phil program in the Washington County schools.

He is on the board of directors of Children's Village of Washington County and initiated the child ID program in Hagerstown.

A certified child safety seat trainer, Rourke volunteers his time at safety seat checkpoints around Washington County.

And he began the victim/witness program at Hagerstown City Police.

"This is quite an honor for me," Rourke said at the luncheon in his honor at the Morris Frock Legion Home.

He said it has been a joy doing what he does for the past four years.

"I was a real police officer once but I do still have arrest powers," Rourke said.

Exchange Club President Cynthia Oates welcomed Rourke by recalling her days as a police reporter many years ago.

"I remember thinking then that we had a better police department than we deserved," Oates said, recalling that she figured salaries were probably low.

She pointed to Rourke as a good example of a quality in the current police department - officers working hard to do their best.

"We do have a lot of good programs but it's hard getting the word out," Rourke said. "I challenge you members of the Exchange Club to help."

He said he would like to put the police department out of business with his crime prevention programs.

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