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Hampstead police chief to retire after 20-year tenure

Hampstead police chief to retire after 20-year tenure

The Hampstead Police Department is seeking applicants for its top position after Chief Ken Meekins' announcement that he will retire in 2017.

Meekins will retire May 1, giving him time to mentor a new police chief. The town is currently accepting resumes for the position, with a deadline of Nov. 18, according to a news release from the town.

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The decision to retire was partly due to the changing law enforcement landscape, he said in an email.

"There have been a lot of changes in law enforcement and the societal view of policing in America. These challenges perhaps need a fresh perspective and the energy of youth. Those are things that I no longer can bring to the table," Meekins said in the email.

Meekins, who has been chief of the department since 1996, said in an email that he first planned to retire at the end of April but decided to stay on for an additional year because of professional and personal reasons.

"Staying an extra year allowed for the professional development of the staff at HPD. We had just hired two new police officers and made three promotions in 2015," Meekins said in the email.

Meekins will stay on to mentor the new police chief, a decision that was made by the town's mayor and Meekins, Mayor Chris Nevin said.

The new police chief will start around March 2017, according to the release. Meekins said in the email that the transition period will be about two months.

Having Meekins train the new chief will make for a smoother transition and make it easier for the person taking over the job, Nevin said.

The mayor said the accolades the town has received for its safety, including being named as on one of the safest towns in Maryland, show the quality of Meekins' tenure as chief.

"He's done a great job," Nevin said. "He's turned our department into a first-rate police agency."

The town had already received two applications for the position as of 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nevin said.

There are several factors that make the police chief job in Hampstead distinct from others in the county, including that, barring retirements, there have not been any officers to leave the department in about 10 years, Meekins said in the email.

There are also several law enforcement and emergency responder families in the area, he said in an email, and that helps keep crime low.

Those wishing to apply for the job should send a resume to Town Manager Tammi Ledley at 1034 S. Carroll St., Hampstead, by email at tledley@hampsteadmd.gov or by fax at 410-239-6143.

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410-857-7898

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If you want to apply

Position: Hampstead chief of police

Salary: $75,000 to $85,000

Required qualifications: Bachelor's degree in a related field and/or 10 years experience in a supervisory or command role in law enforcement. Ideal candidates will have proficiency in staffing, budgeting, working with multiple jurisdictions, personal development, police practices and police operations, as well as a commitment to continuing community policing.

About Hampstead Police Department: Composed of a chief, a civilian officer and eight officers. The department has a K-9 narcotics unit and a detective corporal who acts as a school liaison and takes point on investigations.

To apply: Send resumes to Tammi Ledley at 1034 S. Carroll St., Hampstead, by email at tledley@hampsteadmd.gov or by fax at 410-239-6143.

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