Two corporals made sergeant this week in the Anne Arundel County Police Department, fewer than expected after the agency had to rescind three planned promotions shortly after all five were told they earned the higher rank.

“The personnel office made an honest mistake and moved quickly to correct it within 24 hours,” said county spokesman Dave Abrams. “Of course, the individuals affected were contacted and received a deserved apology from [the personnel officer].”

He said the mistake came about due to differing promotion processes within the police department.

The union contract called for  five  out of the seven top contenders on the promotions list for sergeant  to be submitted to departing Chief James Teare Sr. – three names submitted for the first vacancy, plus one for each additional vacancy. Instead, he said, the county personnel office forwarded  a list of 15 names. That’s three for each vacancy, which is the way it’s done for the nonrepresented command staff, he said.

That meant three of the appointees shouldn’t have made the cut. The complaint came from the Fraternal Order of Police, the largest  police union in the department and which represents police below the rank of sergeant.

“We have to enforce the contract, no matter how painful they make it,” said O’Brien Atkinson, FOP president. “At the end of the day, this would not have happened had the administration followed proper policy.”

The newly minted sergeants are Stephen Luersen and Dion Tilghman, a police spokesman said.

Happy families typically spread news quickly of a police department promotion, planning parties and other gatherings.
 
Mike Shier, on the board of the FOP, had brought the promotions problem to the Council’s attention Monday night:  "This leaves a nice mark on a family's celebration dinner."