Chief Robert Russell has named Robert Beck deputy chief in charge ofpatrol and criminal investigation divisions.

Beck, a 45-year-old major, had been acting deputy chief since February when Russell was promoted from deputy chief to chief. Beck will have the rank of lieutenant colonel.

"I'm very lucky. It's one thing to work hard enough to earn a promotion, but it's another to have the position you are qualified for open up for you.

"Like magic, every time I've been qualified, one of these vacancies has just opened up for me," Beck said.

Beck's 23-year law enforcement career has been exclusively in the county police department. He has been executive officer of field operations, commander of technical services and crime prevention divisions and district commander. He also gained administrative experience as the last police superintendent of the Anne Arundel Detention Center before a 1979 referendum made the county prison system a separate branch of government.

Before joining the county police, Beck served with an Army intelligence unit in Vietnam.

Beck, who moved to the county when he was 14, lives in Pasadena. He says "this is my home" and he has no desire to move to another department.

He said his No. 1 goal as deputy chief will be to continue implementing Russell's program to bring narcotics investigations into the streets.

"Problem-oriented policing is the future. Nationwide, police are getting out of their carsand interacting with their communities," said Beck, a 1989 graduate of the FBI National Academy.

"Not to take away from central narcotics investigations, but we're putting some of those officers out in the districts so when a district commander gets a call from a community leader saying there are dealers working out on a corner, he can send people out immediately," he said.

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