Hampstead appoints new police chief

Hampstead appoints new police chief
From left, Councilwoman Marlene Duff, Councilman Wayne Thomas, Councilman James Roark, Mayor Christopher Nevin, Councilman Joseph Renehan and Councilman David Unglesbee. (Alex Mann / Carroll County Times)

The Hampstead mayor and Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday, July 10, during their monthly meeting to appoint a new police chief.

David Snyder, a 30-year veteran of the Lower Merion (Pa.) Police Department, will be sworn in as the chief of police for the Hampstead Police Department at next month’s council meeting.


A committee consisting of Hampstead Mayor Christopher Nevin, Town Clerk Tammi Ledley, Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, Manchester police Chief John Hess and Hampstead acting police Chief Charles Rapp pored over some 36 to 37 applications, Nevin said.

Nevin and his colleagues on the committee narrowed the pool of applicants from around the country to six, whom they interviewed. From the six they chose Snyder. The Hampstead Town Council interviewed Snyder and appointed him Tuesday, barring a physical.

“He’s a marathon runner,” Rapp said, “I think he’ll be good (on the physical).”

Hampstead Councilman James Roark told the Times he appreciated Snyder’s calmness, demeanor and professionalism.

“(Snyder) said three things that stuck with me: ‘If it’s good, keep doing it. If it’s bad, stop it. If it’s missing, start it,’ ” Roark said of his interaction with Snyder. “I think he’s going to be a great addition to the town.”

Nevin said Snyder’s career stability, having worked some 30 years in one department, was a key factor in his decision.

He also pointed to the size of the department Snyder worked in and his experience working his way up the ranks of Lower Merion’s Police Department.

Lower Merion boasts a population of almost 60,000 — nearly 10-times Hampstead’s population — according to 2017 U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

“You saw a jack of all trades,” Nevin told the Times. “In a small department you need to practice and understand” all functions of a police force.

Nevin also said that Snyder “did his homework” before the interview, reading up on Hampstead.

“Talk about Hampstead and everybody (usually) gives you the number of road miles and population,” the mayor said. “But he basically gave us the current state of affairs of all the recent articles.

“It was clear that he got more in depth than reading two paragraphs on a website.”

David Unglesbee told the Times before the meeting — before Snyder was officially appointed — that the 30-year Lower Merion veteran would serve as a good leader for what is a relatively young Hampstead Police Department.

The Hampstead mayor and Town Council did more July 10 than appoint a new police chief. The council also swore in a new police officer, voted unanimously to extend the lease of a 2019 Freightliner dump truck by a year and to raise penalties for water bill payments that are turned in late.


“We’re hoping to encourage people to pay on time,” Ledley said of Ordinance 529, which raises the late fee from $20 to $25 — or 10 percent of the water bill, whichever amount is greater. “We spend a lot of time preparing the late letters.”

The ordinance raises the fee to restore water to a residence after the town shuts the water off from $50 to $75.

“It’s a lot of the same people every single quarter,” Nevin added.

Extending the lease of the truck from six to seven years is intended to better align with the dump truck’s lifespan, which is expected to be 10 to 15 years, Nevin said.