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As Long as We Remember...

December 7, 2012

Kim Dine’s Gone

Roy Meachum

Two weeks from today Kim Dine takes over as head of the U.S. Capitol Police. His replacement as Frederick City police chief is Capt. Tom Ledwell, as “acting” chief, while the city conducts a national search to find someone to install permanently.


The mayor and Board of Aldermen shouldn’t waste the dollars. As a Frederick taxpayer, I put it in on record. True, I suggested the other assistant chief, Capt. Kevin Grubb, whom I know better. Together with his brother Jim, Tom Ledwell quietly operated behind the scenes; both made captain, in his turn.


Kevin Grubb was responsible for patrols and most of the force’s criminal activities, which made him more visible. The “inside” guy was Tom Ledwell at least for years, after Harold Domer retired to take the position of county dogcatcher. One of Kim Dine’s qualities that I admired very much: he waited for all the departmental politically “savvy” men and women to withdraw before he appointed his senior executives. I cannot quibble with the former chief on anything, especially naming his replacement.


Ten years ago, when the ex-Metropolitan Police Department assistant chief took over, the city law enforcement agency was a big mess. Baltimore’s Ray Raffensberger left it that way, as I have written. His interim, Captain Harold Domer, did not improve the situation – at all.


Former Chief Charles Victor Main was retired seven years when I moved to East Fourth Street; I knew him as a colorful character, living on West 13th Street. Richard Ashton was the man in charge. The city was less than half of its present size. The essential nature of policing was different. Frederick was a city but in name only.


The ex-Baltimore cop thought he was “too good,” coming from Maryland’s largest metropolitan atmosphere; most of all, he pandered to the several cliques within the department. With Kim Dine’s arrival, things began to change; not right away. His calm personality infected the streets immediately. He tucked away the force – gently. As I said, he waited for and encouraged change among the “brass.”


Chief Dine has the city force recognized internationally; it was hailed as a model department. The great fear now is messing with his success. As a taxpayer, I don’t see the need to waste money on a national search. The chances of my first choice, Kevin Grubb, are slim to none.


Tom Ledwell knows the personnel and area very well. He was quoted in The Gazette: “We also still have that intimate town feel that you know people around the city and around town. It’s a good combination, size-wise. We’re not so large that it’s impersonal, but we’re also large enough that we get to do a variety of police work.”


The Frederick Police Department said goodbye to Chief Dine on Wednesday at the Delaplaine Arts Center.


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