State police expected to name commander at Westminster barracks; Armstrong appears headed for headquarters post


Maryland State Police Lt. Terry L. Katz will replace Lt. Leonard Armstrong as commander of the Westminster barracks tomorrow, county sources said yesterday.

News of the command change at the state's largest barracks will become official tomorrow morning, when Katz is introduced to the county commissioners.

The announcement is a courtesy to the commissioners, who have a law enforcement agreement with the state police. The county pays $3.8 million in salary and benefits for more than 50 resident troopers assigned to the Westminster Barracks as the county's primary police agency.

News of Katz's arrival preceded tomorrow's planned announcement when a change in the commissioners' agenda was issued yesterday and named Katz as the new commander.

"I can neither confirm nor deny any personnel change," Capt. Gregory M. Shipley, a state police spokesman, said yesterday. "Until orders are written and approved, nothing is official."

Katz, 50, most recently has been assigned to the training division at state police headquarters in Pikesville.

Long recognized as an expert in satanic cults and motorcycle gangs, Katz previously served in the criminal intelligence division.

Katz could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Armstrong, who took command 17 months ago in Westminster, apparently will take a staff position in the Field Operations Bureau at state police headquarters in Pikesville.

The 28-year veteran trooper recently spent several partial days in Pikesville, getting a feel for how the job has changed since he previously worked in Field Operations.

Armstrong commanded the North East barracks in Cecil County before he was assigned to Westminster in September 1997.

Yesterday, Armstrong declined to comment on his impending transfer and later declined to take a reporter's calls.

Protocol, according to several sources within the Maryland State Police, calls for all transfers to be formally announced by Teletype to all barracks. Until it is so announced, no transfer is official, sources said.

Pub Date: 2/10/99

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