Park to keep alive memory of town's former police chief


The town of Hampstead is dedicating a new park in the memory of former Police Chief Durward C. "Sarge" Sites.

Residents are invited to the dedication ceremony at the park, Lower Beckleysville Road at Dogwood Drive, at 10 a.m. April 7.

"Sarge" Sites was a sergeant with the Maryland State Police in Westminster, and then served in Hampstead from 1977 until his death in 1986.

"He was extremely well-liked, and had a special way of dealing with children and teens in town," said Mayor Clint Becker.

Hampstead Police Chief Kenneth Russell, who worked for Chief Sites, said, "He always had a bunch of kids hanging on him.

"Everybody knew him. I never heard anybody say a bad word about him."

Chief Russell said that Chief Sites loved the site that has become the park and that he used to take his paperwork there.

Once, he said, Chief Sites took him there and said, "I love to come down here on a summer night. I just come down here to think."

He said Chief Sites had told him that he would like to see the place become a playground one day. So when the town planned a park there, he suggested they name it for "Sarge."

"It seems appropriate," Chief Russell said.

The dedication ceremony is part of the town's Arbor Day festivities, which begin at 8:30 a.m. with North Carroll High School students planting trees at the North Carroll Farms Nature Trail and at the school.

At 1 p.m., Hampstead will take part in a countywide Arbor Day celebration in Manchester at the firefighters' activity building, York at Locust streets. Hampstead and Manchester will be officially recognized as "Tree Cities U.S.A." at the celebration.

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