A new captain has taken charge of the Wilkens Precinct.
Capt. Douglas Irwin, a 20-year veteran with the Baltimore County Police Department who has spent the past 10 months as commander of the department's Internal Affairs Division, took the precinct's command on Oct. 22.
Irwin's previous assignments include positions at the Criminal Investigation Division, the Community Drug and Violence Interdiction Team, Criminal Intelligence, the 911 Center and the Patrol Division.
He's also been a firearms instructor and a member of the Hostage Negotiation team.
By the middle of his first day in office, Irwin had rearranged furniture, hung pictures of sailing ships and topped a jack o'lantern with his police cap.
More importantly, he'd met with his staff — many of whom he already knew — looked at the crime statistics and considered what areas are the "hot spots" in the precinct.
Irwin is no stranger to precinct work. One of his earliest assignments was at the nearby Woodlawn Precinct, where he was shift captain for three years.
A graduate of Liberty High School, in Eldersburg, the Community College of Baltimore County and University of Maryland, Irwin decided to apply to the Baltimore County Police after hearing about its good reputation
The new commander said he'll make fighting crime his top priority.
"I've been an investigator at every rank," Irwin said. "I'm a crime fighter first."
But, Irwin noted, that means more than making arrests.
"My focus will be on crime: preventing, solving and making sure people aren't afraid of crime," he said.
That means offering a conduit to necessary social services, assisting victims and gathering necessary information, he said.
Communication with the communities in the precinct is key, he said.
"We don't clear crime without community involvement. It's just that simple," Irwin said.
Irwin lives in Carroll County with his wife and two teenage children, and the family pets: a dog, two cats, two rabbits, and two goats.
A runner and swimmer, he has served as a torch bearer for the Baltimore County Police Department Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics.
For the past three years, he has been the team captain in a 195-mile relay race with other department members to benefit a nonprofit group helping the homeless population.
While serving as a Scout leader, Irwin led his son's troop on horseback to Philmont, Scouting's challenging hiking and camping site in New Mexico.
Earlier this year, he received the Baltimore County Police Foundation's Community Service Award.