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Hancock police chief praises Leadership Washington County

July 14, 2010|By DON AINES
  • Timothy Buskirk
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HANCOCK --Being a police chief means more than enforcing the law.

The job also requires one to manage officers and staff and to relate to the people of a community.

Last month, Timothy Buskirk -- police chief of Hancock for the past four years -- graduated from Leadership Washington County, a program that develops the skills of leaders and potential leaders from across the county.

"I really think it helped better me in the career I'm in, relating to people and being a leader," Buskirk said of the leadership program. "It really helped me in communicating. You would have to introduce yourself and talk on a subject you were assigned to."

At the June 25 graduation of the 23rd Leadership Washington County class, Buskirk and the members of his group had to make a presentation on a hypothetical nonprofit organization.

"We designed an after-school activity for kids," Buskirk explained.

The program would include elements such as health and homework assistance, he said.

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"We all came up with pieces of the puzzle," he said. "It's all part of the teamwork and team building we've done."

The aim of Leadership Washington County is to develop current and potential leaders in the county, Executive Director Tara Horst said after the graduation at Leiter's Downtown in Hagerstown.

Program members learn about all aspects of Washington County, including days devoted to local government, education, the arts and economic development, Horst said.

"The goal is that they will stay involved in the community" as volunteers, board members of organizations or in other capacities, she said.

"I was surprised with all the different entertainment, arts and culture available in Washington County," Buskirk said.

He got to take about half of the group on a tour of his town and show them what Hancock has to offer.

Buskirk said he knew only a few of his classmates when the program started last fall. Developing those contacts from a wide range of public institutions and private entities will provide resources that program members can use in the future, either professionally or in community service, he said.

This year's crop included men and women from banking and financial institutions, public schools and colleges, restaurants and hotels, nonprofit organizations and law enforcement.

"I always had a childhood dream to be a police officer," said Buskirk, although he studied pharmacology in college. Now, he heads a department of three full-time and two part-time officers, and his patrol dog, Rambo.

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