Benoit said the department's issues predate Tolliver's tenure. He declined to go into specifics, but said the department "is in shambles."

"I think there are systemic problems in our police department that aren't necessarily attributable to one chief or two chiefs. … The county executive will have earned a term of her own if she can get the culture back to where it was," he said.

Councilman Derek Fink, a Pasadena Republican, said Neuman can overcome negative perceptions about the Police Department in hiring a new chief.

"I think it's still a great job. Anne Arundel County is a great county, it's a great place to be. We've got a really good police staff. At the end of the day, we'll find a great candidate," he said.

Dave Daughters, president of the Western District Police-Community Relations Council, said he is "very disappointed" Tolliver decided to call it quits. He called the allegation that Tolliver retaliated against officers who testified against Leopold "ridiculous" and said some of the changes Tolliver made no doubt left some unhappy.

"He was making an effort to improve the department," Daughters said. In addition, he said, "He made himself very visible. He was at community meetings."

Besides looking for a new police chief, the county executive must find a fire chief. The last chief, Robert Ray, resigned May 1. The acting chief is Michael Cox, who has held a number of positions in the department during his more than 25-year career.

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