For 3 1/2 years, Officer Timothy S. Brown has taken time to pay extra attention to neighborhood children as he makes his rounds in Brooklyn Park.
"He goes out of his way to help the kids," said Dolores Impallaria, president of the Northern District Police Relations Council. "He tries to show them that he's human like they are, and it helps them."
Officer Brown's work in the community has earned him the Northern District Officer of the Year award for 1995. He will receive a plaque on Valentine's Day from the police relations council.
Officer Brown, 25, started out as a state trooper like his two uncles, who often told him stories about their jobs as he was growing up. But soon after he graduated from the police academy, he was laid off.
He then applied to the Anne Arundel County department, and Mrs. Impallaria, who also is president of Belle Grove Road Improvement Association, said she is glad he did.
"He looks out for us," she said.
Lt. Joseph H. Bisesi, who has watched Officer Brown work on the streets, said he is "one of the top officers in the district. He makes himself aware of what's going on in the community, and that's one of the most important things an officer can do."
His familiarity with his beat and the people on it helps Officer Brown track down suspects, Lieutenant Bisesi said.
Early last month, when the streets were choked with snow from the blizzard, Northern District officers received a call to pick up a suspect in the 5000 block of Brookwood Road in Brooklyn Park on burglary charges. But the address was wrong.
Officer Brown worked his sources until he found the right address. Police took a four-wheel-drive vehicle to a house in the 5400 block of Brookwood Road and went inside, where Officer Brown found a man hiding behind a water heater in the basement.
Larry Randall Edmisten, 40, of the 5400 block of Brookwood Road was charged with stealing three cartons of cigarettes and a videocassette recorder from a house in the 5800 block of Ritchie Highway. Friday he waived his right to a preliminary hearing in Glen Burnie District Court and was released on his own recognizance.
If Officer Brown hadn't known "who to talk to or where to go, we would never have made that arrest," Lieutenant Bisesi said.
In his spare time, Officer Brown said, his activities include jogging and snowmobiling.
He might look for a desk job at some point, he said. But for now, he will continue to work his sources and make friends with the youngsters on his beat.
"I just enjoy working the road," Officer Brown said. "You can learn a great deal very quickly on the road."