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Officer V. Richard Molloy, the county police spokesman who for the past decade has fielded questions from the press all hours of the day and night about homicides, car accidents and other mayhem, said yesterday he may retire in August.

The 24-year veteran said his decision hinges on County Council approval of an early-retirement incentive package proposed by County Executive Robert R. Neall that would allowcounty employees to retire early without penalty and also increase their pension.

The proposal is expected to be introduced to the council April 20. If the plan passes, Molloy said he will retire two years earlier than he had planned. He will turn 50 in August.

"I've enjoyed dealing with the press," said Molloy, who lives in Millersville. "It's beeninteresting, a lot of fun. The bad part of it is the only time you're really dealing with the press is sad situations."

Molloy was assigned to the press office full time in 1982, when he was a narcotics evidence technician. But his first major assignment came about six months earlier, when he was helping the office during a crisis.

Six county officers were shot in Galesville and the press corps from Baltimore and Washington was out in force. The incident started about 2:30 a.m., and ended six hours later when police shot and killed the suspect.

"He was behind a shed," Molloy said. "We opened it up to thepress when we found him. There was probably close to 50 reporters from television and print media running up the street. That was a very imposing sight for my first interview."

Molloy said he and his wife will not miss the late-night calls by reporters or the all-night vigils at homicides or police standoffs.

"Every day it's different,"he said. "You don't get a mundane attitude where you don't want to come to work. Of course, some days are a lot better than others."

But even on the bad days, Molloy said his philosophy was to be open with the media. "Everybody always compliments us on the way the department handles the press," he said.

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