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New barracks commander says he's lucky to be a trooper

September 10, 2000

New barracks commander says he's lucky to be a trooper



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Randy ReshWhen Lt. Randy Resh started with the Maryland State Police in the 1970s he never dreamed he would one day become commander of the Hagerstown barracks, he said.

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Resh considers himself lucky to be a state trooper because he was born with a heart murmur and his application was originally denied because of it, he added.

"This is so much more than I ever expected," Resh said.

The murmur eventually went away, and Resh, 44, who was working in computers at the time, jumped at the chance to become a state trooper like his twin Randall Resh and other brother Gary Resh.

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Resh, who was stationed in Garrett County, Md., took over for Lt. Bruce Smith, 42, on Aug. 21.

His arrival was delayed for months because of his involvement in an investigation of boot camps in Western Maryland, in which authorities were alleged to have mistreated juvenile inmates.

Resh continues to lead the ongoing investigation and will work on it at least once a week in Hagerstown, he said.

Since coming to the Hagerstown barracks he has seen many welcoming, familiar faces, said Resh, a native of Somerset County, Pa.

During the start of his career, he transferred from Rockville, Md., to Hagerstown, serving there for three years in the early 1980s, he said.

"There are people here from when I was here 20 years ago. They were good 20 years ago and they are still good," he said.

Hagerstown's barracks houses a "tight-knit group of troopers," that look out for each other, said Resh.

"It's like a family unit here," he said.

Resh said he remembers feeling eager to leave Rockville, Md., and come to Hagerstown because of the violence he experienced.

"I still remember stopping my car and getting out above Huyetts (Md. 63 at U.S. 40) to look around. No one ran me down. I thought 'this is a beautiful place,'" Resh joked.

During a series of transfers and promotions, Resh got involved in the criminal investigations section which he found to be challenging and satisfying, he said.

While criminal investigation can be satisfying it also has its downside, he said.

"The bad ones, the murder homicides - the people who kill their kids and themselves - those you don't forget," he said.

He began his investigation of the Western Maryland boot camps in Dec. 1999 and oversaw numerous state police, social workers and investigators from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and West Virginia.

The complex investigation, in which more than 1,000 people have been interviewed, has been at times "overwhelming," said Resh who has been married to his wife Carol for 22 years. They have three children, Jamie, 21, Jackie, 18 and Jared, 16.

"Everyone involved (investigators) has been hand-picked and that helps," he said.

At the Hagerstown barracks, Resh is in charge of 66 police and civilian staff but doesn't let his title as commander go to his head, he said.

Resh said to not be surprised to hear of him picking up the phone or writing up a ticket in addition to his administrative duties.

"I'll do whatever's required. The bottom line is that I'm still a trooper no matter what," he said.

Resh said his willingness to take the required tests and go anywhere in the state has had more to do with his becoming Hagerstown's commander than his qualifications. He said there are other troopers who would be just as capable of doing the job as he.

"It's not because I'm fast or speedy or sharp. I know better than that," he said.

He said his success in Hagerstown will rely to a large extent on those he supervises.

"You're only as good as the people working for you," he said.

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