As Chief Adrian Baker departs today to take command of Maryland Natural Resources Police, Lt. John Dolgos said he’s ready to lead the Chestertown Police Department.
Dolgos, a 28-year veteran of CPD, will serve as the chief in the interim while the Town Council conducts a formal search for Chestertown’s top cop. So far the town has received two other applications for consideration.
“He is very capable of leading the department,” Baker said of Dolgos in a brief phone interview on Thursday.
Dolgos, 49, is the longest serving officer in CPD history.
Baker promoted Dolgos to second-in-command shortly after his arrival in 2012 — and the two enjoyed a good working relationship from the start.
“He had a very positive influence on me in the way he led [the department],” Dologos said in an interview on Thursday. Baker entrusted him to handle operations and sought his input on important decisions affecting the department.
Dolgos speaks of Baker as a mentor and said serving under him was the capstone in his long career that has prepared him to lead the department.
As chief, Dolgos said he would work to employ more community policing initiatives where officers have “greater opportunities for one-on-one” interactions with citizens.
Dolgos said retention would also be a priority and that he would work to inspire other officers to achieve the longevity that he’s enjoyed in his 28 years with CPD.
Dolgos graduated from Kent County High School in 1987 and began working in aquaculture, producing farm-raised striped bass. But his interest in law enforce grew in his work as a volunteer EMT with the Kent & Queen Anne’s Rescue Squad, where he remains a lifetime member. He said his interactions with police on the job sparked his interest in police work.
“This is when I became interested in law enforcement,” he said. “I began doing ride-alongs with the Sheriff’s office.”
Dolgos was hired by CPD Chief Wayne Bradley in 1991, and since then he’s served under five police chiefs.
Dolgos was involved in youth programs in his early years to help build trust between the department and Chestertown’s youth.
One such initiative was the “Kids Against Cops” basketball program.
“We got our buts kicked,” he said. “But the kids loved it and we built a heck of a rapport with them.”
He also ran a CINA program (Children Involved In Neighborhood Improvement) that involved an hour of educational activity and two hours of trash cleanup and recycling. Participants received $15 at the end of the session.
Dolgos said these relationships have endured long after the participants became adults.