A nearly 30-year, decorated veteran of the Bel Air Police Department was promoted from corporal to sergeant Tuesday.
Sgt. Frank Krick, a native of Whiteford, began working for the Town of Bel Air as a police dispatcher in the spring of 1985 and was hired as a police officer in July of 1987.
Krick is also a lifetime volunteer firefighter in Harford County and is past chief of the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company.
"I think that Frank is one of those guys that motivates his squad every day, because he's motivated to do the work himself," Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola said during Tuesday's promotion ceremony.
The ceremony was held in Bel Air's town hall with top town officials, the mayor and town commissioners and Krick's family and police colleagues in attendance.
"He has a lot of self-direction, a lot of self-awareness and a lot of social awareness that he's able to put into place every day," Matrangola continued. "I think he inspires that to his officers, to his squad and makes them perform in a way that makes us proud to be members of the Bel Air Police Department."
Mayor Edward Hopkins, who is also with the Harford County Sheriff's Office and the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company, said he considers Krick a friend and extolled his abilities as a police officer and firefighter.
Hopkins read from a two-and-a-quarter-page memo prepared by the police chief, listing Krick's accomplishments and awards earned over 28 years with the town.
Some of his career highlights included stopping a burglary in progress in 1993 as two suspected members of the YACS [Yugoslavian, Albanian, Croatian and Serbian] gang from New York tried to break into a Giant supermarket through the roof.
"They were quite a menace in the Maryland area, for quite a while, during that time period," Hopkins said.
Krick, who spent six years as a Bel Air detective, is also credited with solving a child sexual assault case "involving a deaf suspect," and a robbery and assault where the victim was suffering from memory loss.
He has also been a member of Harford County's Crisis Intervention Response Team and Crisis Management Team, serving on the Crisis Management Team as a hostage negotiator.
Krick completed multiple courses on crime investigation techniques, and has earned several major awards from the Bel Air police, such as the Chief's Exceptional Service Medal, various unit citations and the Purple Heart for an injury sustained in the line of duty last April.
He said later that he injured his shoulder while apprehending a suspect, and the injury required surgery to fix.
Krick's parents, wife, children and grandson watched the promotion Tuesday.
"I'm very excited and very proud of him," his mother, Mary Krick, said.
She said her son had been interested in being a police officer and firefighter since childhood.
"He always had little miniature fire trucks and little miniature police cars all the time," she said.
His wife, Pat, said "we just think it's awesome; he's very dedicated."
Krick's son, Brandon, 25, is a paramedic with the Aberdeen Fire Department.
"It's good, well deserved," he said of his father's promotion. "[I'm] very excited for him."
Krick said during a reception after the ceremony that he "had a lot of mentors that helped me along the way" during his police career.
As sergeant, he will be in charge of a seven-member patrol squad, carrying out police patrols, investigations, traffic enforcement, responding to calls and other functions.
"It's always something different," Krick said of police work. "It's never the same thing and the end result is, we help maintain the law and the protection of the citizens of the town."
Dennis Murphy, who retired earlier this year as a sergeant after more than 30 years with the Bel Air police, attended Tuesday's ceremony, which was held in conjunction with the town commissioners bi-weekly work session because Krick won't be in town for this Monday's regular town meeting.
"Frank and I go way back," Murphy said.
He said he has known Krick since he was a dispatcher and watched him rise through the ranks.
Murphy said Krick "motivates people to be a unit and to work as a team," a critical part of being a squad leader.
"If you have a cohesive team in your squad, you're going to be successful," he said.