Three of the 12 officers being promoted today in the Howard County Police Department are women or minorities -- a rate that the chief says is on target to help increase diversity in his department.
Police Chief James N. Robey said the promotions, which include the addition of a second major below the rank of chief, are part of a department reorganization he started two years ago.
One African-American man and two white women are among 12 officers who will be promoted in a ceremony at the George Howard Building in Ellicott City at 5 p.m.
Cpl. Dave Francis, a detective in the Vice and Narcotics Division, and Cpl. Karen Shinham, a violent crimes detective, will be promoted to the rank of sergeant.
Sgt. Sandy Regler, the supervisor of the Child Abuse-Sex Crimes Section, will become a lieutenant.
Still, few minorities and women are in supervisory positions. After the promotions, the department will have one African-American captain, two lieutenants and four sergeants. It also will have two lieutenants and one sergeant who are white women.
"Diversifying the department is still a priority to me," said the police chief, who made the selections.
Those promoted say effort, not politics, earned them the promotions.
"I'm very happy," said Corporal Shinham. "I've been here about 12 years. I was ready for it."
Corporal Francis said his promotion was due to his qualifications, not his race. "I feel honored about my selection," he said. "I got it through hard work and dedication I've given to the department."
The other officers promoted include: Capt. Wayne Livesay to major, Lt. Jeffrey Spaulding and Lt. Jay Zumbrun to captain, Sgt. Carl Layman to lieutenant, Cpl. Mike Price to sergeant and Pfc. Chuck Dittman, Pfc. Mike Hajek, Pfc. Bruce Lohr and Pfc. John Paparazzo to corporal.
When the promotions take effect Monday, the command structure will be reduced from three to two bureaus. The Field Operations and Criminal Investigation bureaus are being combined into a new Operations Bureau. That bureau and a new Administrative Bureau each will be supervised by a major. Before, two captains and one major were in charge of the three bureaus.
The change may seem simple to outsiders, Chief Robey said, but "the organizational structure had not significantly changed in the last 15 years even while the size and complexity of the department changed significantly."
In fast-growing Howard County, the department has 315 sworn police officers. That number includes 235 white males, 33 white females, 32 black males, nine black females and six officers categorized as "other."
Chief Robey said he promoted 19 of 20 African-Americans deemed through county tests as being eligible for promotion in 1990, 1991, 1993 and last year. This time, three black men, one black woman and six white women were eligible.