Name: Thomas Aston, 58, of Long Reach in Columbia.
Activities, hobbies: Mr. Aston volunteers with the Howard County Police Department in the personnel department where he does clerical duties and works on special projects. Previously, he entered data into the computer-base for the records section, where he will be reassigned following the return of a personnel department employee. He started volunteering in March. He said he puts in about eight to 10 hours per week.
He also enjoys Volksmarching and traveling in Europe and belongs to the Baltimore Kickers, a German-American Club. He cooks and serves "wurst" for the Germanfest and Oktoberfest in Baltimore. He also records the maximum and minimum outside temperature for each day of the month and sends it each month to the National Weather Service. Mr. Aston recently graduated from the first Civilian Police Academy of the Howard County Police Department.
Organization's comments: "Tom is an asset to the department," said Sgt. Karen Burnett, records section supervisor. "In the time that he was assigned to records, Tom entered data for over 2,000 Maryland Uniform Citations. Tom is a very pleasant and professional man. It has been the staff's pleasure to work with him."
Volunteer's comments: "I grew up with children of policemen," Mr. Aston said. "My best friend back home was a policeman. I met a Howard County policeman, Hector Velez, and rekindled an interest in police work. He suggested I talk to Barbara Krankoski about my interest. I enjoy the work, and the people are nice to work with. It gives me a chance to help the community. I just hope that the [Howard County Police] advisory council will set up an auxiliary police force. I will get into that one day."
About Mr. Aston: He was born in Cleveland. Mr. Aston is an Air Force veteran and retired from the U.S. Air Weather Service in January 1992. He has lived in Maryland since April 1962 and moved to Columbia in 1974.
For volunteer opportunities in Howard County, call The Columbia Volunteer Corp at 715-3163. To make a nomination or receive a nomination form, call Jill L. Kubatko at 715-2813 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 715-2816.