By Mary K. Tilghman
1:47 PM EDT, October 16, 2012
Capt. John Spiroff, commander of the Wilkens Police Station that patrolled Precinct One that includes Arbutus, Catonsville and Lansdowne, will be leaving the station next week.
Spiroff has been promoted to detective captain for the Baltimore County Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division.
He will be succeeded at Wilkens by Capt. Douglas Irwin, a 20-year veteran of the Baltimore County Police Department.
Irwin was most recently commander of the department's Internal Affairs Division, according to Cpl. Cathleen Batton, a county police spokeswoman.
Community leaders were quick to offer praise and gratitude for Spiroff's service.
"He's been a wonderful, wonderful leader, not only in law enforcement but in reaching out to the community," said Lorna Rudnikas, president of the Wilkens Police and Community Relations Organization.
Spiroff was faithful in attending the organization's monthly meetings, to update crime trends, answer residents' questions and listen to their concerns, she said.
Councilman Tom Quirk, whose 1st District includes Catonsville, Arbutus and Lansdowne, was in his first term working with the veteran policeman.
"I enjoyed working with him," Quirk said, noting that they spoke regularly. "I wish him well."
Arbutus business leaders relied on Spiroff's leadership whenever there was a concern in their community, according to Patti Sue Nolan, president of the Arbutus Business and Professional Association.
Spiroff attended or sent representatives to their meetings, as well as the meetings of other local organizations to listen and respond to the community's concerns — from worries about college student behavior to people not using crosswalks properly, she said.
"He was very interested in working through these problems with us," Nolan said.
Sally Griffin, president of the Greater Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, always remembered his lesson about calling 911.
"He always encouraged us, 'Don't be afraid to call 911. We need records,' " she said.
"He was always available," she added, praising his work in the community. "Any time we had a concern, he always got back with us and did follow up."
Spiroff, a Severna Park native, has been the Wilkens Station commander since 2004.
"We're very happy for him, in this new chapter in his law enforcement career," Rudnikas said.
The shift in assignments is expected to take place about Oct. 22.
"We had a wonderful relationship with Capt. Spiroff," Nolan said. "He has been a tremendous asset to our community and we look forward to working with Capt. Irwin."
This story has been updated.
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