Thirteen Anne Arundel County police officers - including Chief P. Thomas Shanahan's younger brother - were promoted in a ceremony in Arnold on Wednesday.
"It's the future of the department; it is a happy time," Shanahan said.
Families, colleagues and friends packed into a room at the Cade Center at Anne Arundel Community College to cheer as the officers were individually recognized by the chief.
Many officers wore neatly pressed dress uniforms, children were scrubbed and spouses spoke of the pride they felt for their loved ones.
"This can't go wrong; this is a great day," Shanahan said before calling each officer - and the accompanying family - up to the podium. He read a brief review of the officer's accomplishments, then handed each a new badge that stated the individual's new rank.
When Glenn Shanahan was called forward, the chief pinned the new lieutenant's badge on his younger brother's uniform.
"It's a warm feeling," said Chief Shanahan, who had recused himself from discussions and interviews regarding his brother's promotion.
Shanahan also made a point of recognizing the parents, children and spouses of each officer.
"In this job, with the nature of the work and the dangers involved - it can be very difficult to do without the support of the families," said Eastern District Commander David E. Pressley, who attended the ceremony to support the promotion of one of his officers.
The highest-ranking officer promoted Wednesday was Randall Jones, who will, as a captain, be taking over command of the county's northern police district. Jones' new post includes neighborhoods with known illegal drug sales.
"I have a history with drug areas, so we'll work closely with the narcotics section," said Jones, who also said he would continue emphasizing community policing. "We'll keep in touch with community groups. A big part of what we do is interact with people."
Many of the officers honored had sought additional training and education to improve their expertise in the field. Two officers - Jeffrey Silverman and Katherine Goodwin - earned graduate degrees from the Johns Hopkins University in management.
"You learn about leadership versus management. You learn that there is a difference," said Silverman, who was promoted to lieutenant.
Goodwin, also promoted to lieutenant, said with a broad smile that the promotion was a "huge accomplishment."
Other officers reminisced about what brought them to the force. Michael Barclay, now a sergeant, was inspired to join the force by his father - a retired Baltimore police officer.
"I used to try on his uniform when I was a boy," Barclay said. "I've always looked up to him."
One veteran officer watching the ceremony reflected on his colleagues' accomplishments.
"It is amazing to see all of these people moving up," said Keith G. Schlein, who has been on the force for about three decades. "We must be doing something right."
Anne Arundel County police promotions
Randall Jones, to captain
Michael Brothers, to lieutenant
Katherine Goodwin, to lieutenant
Norman Milligan, to lieutenant
Glenn Shanahan, to lieutenant
Jeffrey Silverman, to lieutenant
Ted Vanorsdale, to lieutenant
Christopher Ament, to sergeant
Michael Barclay, to sergeant
Sheyn Brezniak, to sergeant
Jane Cox, to sergeant
Timothy Phelan, to sergeant
Daren Roach, to sergeant