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Hancock officer resigns

December 08, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

HANCOCK - Hancock's newest police officer has quit to take a job as a Frederick County (Md.) Sheriff's Department deputy.

Police Chief Donald Gossage announced during Wednesday's Hancock Town Council meeting that Officer Bart Ruppenthal, 26, has resigned less than one year after he was hired.

Gossage and Mayor Daniel Murphy said they wouldn't comment on Ruppenthal's resignation or the reasons for it.

Reached after the meeting, Ruppenthal said he quit so he could go to work for the Sheriff's Department. He said he started his new job Monday.

"It was just a big career move. I just about doubled my salary," Ruppenthal said.

The lifelong Hancock resident said he will probably move to Frederick County at some point.

"It was a no-brain decision," he said.

He had to compare Hancock's four-man department to one with 110 employees, he said.

He enjoyed his time as a Hancock officer, he said.

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"It was great," he said.

When Ruppenthal was hired last Dec. 14 it was the first time the Hancock Police Department had four officers.

Gossage said he probably will ask the town to hire a replacement.

The town paid for Ruppenthal, a former correctional officer at the Maryland Correctional Institution, to attend the Western Maryland Police Academy. He was ranked fourth out of the 33 officers in the class when he graduated.

By mid-June he had finished the academy and started working in Hancock.

Former Councilwoman Glorious Sagle, who was on the council when Ruppenthal was hired, said there is much talk around town about Ruppenthal's resignation. She wanted to know why the town has not started advertising for a replacement.

"The public is talking about this. I think the public deserves an answer," Sagle said.

Murphy noted that Wednesday's meeting was the first one since Ruppenthal's resignation.

The Town Council was scheduled to discuss Ruppenthal's resignation in closed session Wednesday night, Murphy said.

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