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Police allocation order is rescinded

February 24, 2003|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

The Maryland State Police has rescinded an order to place three additional troopers in Hagerstown, but a spokesman said the barrack will still receive new officers through a planned statewide reorganization of the police agency.

The spokesman did not know how many new officers the Hagerstown barrack would receive.

Lt. Bud Frank, a spokesman at state police headquarters in Pikesville, Md., said Friday the order to place the three new troopers in Hagerstown was made in early January by the previous administration, which was headed by former Superintendent David Mitchell.

The new superintendent, Col. Edward T. Norris, recently made the decision to reorganize, Frank said. Gov. Robert Ehrlich appointed Norris to the post in late January.

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The reorganization will be structured around Norris' two main goals of fighting crime and strengthening homeland security efforts, Frank said.

As a result, more officers will be taken from administrative and specialty positions and placed on the streets for patrol duties. Hagerstown and other barracks in the state will see an increase in troopers on the road through the transfers, Frank said.

"There will be additional personnel at each of our barracks," he said.

"The colonel has not yet shared that with the department," Frank said.

Frank said he would have more details on the planned reorganization in a couple of weeks.

As of January, the Hagerstown barrack had 26 road troopers, officials said.

Hagerstown barrack Commander Lt. Greg Johnston said Thursday he received the notice of the change in plans Wednesday. He said he did not have details of the reorganization and referred questions to the Pikesville headquarters.

State police headquarters announced under the previous order that it was placing three new road troopers in Hagerstown mainly as a result of complaints from the community that the number of troopers had been declining over the years.

The barrack also was to receive a new supervisor under the previous order.

The new road troopers were to be seasoned officers who lived in or near Washington County and had requested transfers to the Hagerstown barrack, Western Region Commander Major Vernon Herron said in early January.

The change would have increased the number of road troopers in Hagerstown to 29 and bring the total number of sworn officers to 41.

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