Ready for new role

Irwin replaces Capt. John Spiroff, who just completed his 12-year tenure as Wilkens commander.

"I know I've got big shoes to fill," Irwin said of the man who held the post before him. "He left a very good turnkey station."

Spiroff said he believes he's handing off to Irwin "one of the best communities in Baltimore County."

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And he offered a bit of perspective on what has been helpful during his time here.

Spiroff said he worked to maintain partnerships along the way, visiting with countless community organizations and meeting with business owners and business organizations.

He also sought to develop a good rapport with the area's elected officials and forge partnerships with new organizations as they formed.

If crime analysis indicated a problem, Spiroff said he would speak with members of the affected community to get their perspective and talk about his plans.

"When everybody is on board, you have a full commitment to make your strategies successful," he said.

A proponent of regional policing, Spiroff worked to developing relationships with police in Baltimore City and Howard and Anne Arundel counties, as well as police on the campus of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Spiroff, a Severna Park native, has spent 20 of his 30 years with county police at Wilkens.

"It was like this was my home," he said Oct. 18, his last day at Wilkens.

He served as captain in 1997 for four years before he was assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation Joint Terrorism Task Force and then as director of the Maryland Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council.

A temporary assignment, he spent 18 months working with a variety of law enforcement officers to provide the resources they needed to prevent terrorist acts and respond if they occur.

It was good work and he could have stayed but when Police Chief Terrence Sheridan asked if he wanted to take over after Capt. Stephen Vaughn retired at Wilkens, he agreed. "I loved Wilkens, so I came back," he said.

Spiroff said he's going to miss the precinct but is eager to face the new challenges ahead. As captain detective of the Criminal Investigations Division, he'll focus on property crimes, cyber security, fraud and money laundering.

"Beginning Monday, I'll start to take a look at all that," he said. "I'm very happy (Chief Johnson) has the confidence in selecting me for that position."