Lt. John Dolgos will be Chestertown’s interim Police Chief as the town embarks on a search for a successor to Chief Adrian Baker.
Baker, who resigned to take a position as head of the Maryland Natural Resources Police, said at the town council meeting Sept. 3 that Thursday, Sept. 5, will be his final day as Chestertown’s chief. In accepting the job at Natural Resources Police, Baker is returning to the organization where he was a regional director before taking the Chestertown job.
Town Manager Bill Ingersoll, addressing Baker’s resignation, characterized it as “sort of a sad thing,” and noted there was “some confusion” about the process of finding a replacement for the chief. He called Baker to the podium, saying, “We’re going to miss you, but you have a really tremendous opportunity.”
Baker thanked the council for the opportunity to serve, but he said the chance to take command of the Natural Resources Police was an offer he “couldn’t turn down.” He said he believed that Dolgos, a 28-year veteran of the town’s police force, was the right person for the interim appointment. He said that Dolgos had regularly taken over his duties when he was on vacation, so he was familiar with the daily routine of running the department. He described Dolgos as “very capable,” and said that the appointment would give the council time to figure out what it wanted to do for a permanent replacement.
In a brief discussion outside the council chamber, Baker said that smaller police departments, with only three or four officers, might request an interim chief from the Maryland State Police so they can keep the normal number of officers on patrol. However, he said that Chestertown, with a complement of 13 officers, can afford to move a senior officer into the administrative role without compromising coverage. He also reminisced about his time in the police academy, which at the time was located in Stevensville.
Councilman Marty Stetson said to Baker, “I noticed the change in the color of your hair,” in the time since he took the local job. Baker smiled and agreed that the hair had been brown when he came to Chestertown.
Councilwoman Linda Kuiper, in her ward report, thanked Baker for his service to the town, and the other council members and the audience responded with a round of applause.
Ingersoll said the town has already received two inquiries about the opening before it was even advertised. He said he had sent council members a copy of the town’s advertisement from 2012, when Baker was hired to replace former Chief Walter Coryell. He said he would use it as a model for an advertisement for filling the new vacancy, and asked the council for any suggested updates.
“I recommend that we get (an advertisement) out immediately,” Ingersoll said. “We want to find somebody with the experience to run the department.” He said it might take as much as four weeks to get “a representative number” of applications for the position.
At the request of Stetson, the council conducted a closed session at the end of the regular meeting to discuss a personnel issue related to the interim appointment. Stetson, a former police chief, said he had some views on the appointment he wanted the council to hear and discuss. At the end of the closed session, which lasted about half an hour, Ingersoll said the council had taken no action, and that the decision to appoint Dolgos as interim chief remains in force.