Top cop steps down in Hampstead

Interim chief on loan from sheriff's office

HAMPSTEAD, Md. - Crime may have once seemed foreign in a small town like Hampstead, but not anymore.

"Now, like every other town, there's more population and crime comes with population,” said longtime resident Patrick Reed, “It's hard to deal with sometimes, but you want to take the law into your own hands sometimes, but I know you can't."
On the heels of Police Chief Steve Gossage's resignation this week, Mayor Chris Nevin took to Facebook to reassure residents that won't be necessary and offered up these words when reached by telephone.

"They shouldn't see any difference at all,” said Nevin, “Our police department is very professional.  They have the town's best interest at heart.  They have a longtime record of positive service to the town so I wouldn't expect to see anything different."
As the town begins its search for a replacement, it is borrowing the services of Carroll County Sheriff's Office Major Chuck Rapp to serve as the department's interim chief.
While Rapp did not wish to speak on camera today, he told me through his position as the head of the investigative services division of the sheriff's office, he has worked closely with Hampstead's officers before and he does not plan to make any changes in the department while he fills in.
It is yet another pledge that public safety will not be impacted in a town of 6300 people where many may not know exactly who is in charge, but they're grateful that someone is.

"We have kids and we want to make sure that we're all safe, so yes, it's a big deal,” said Sharon Gleespen, “There's crime in even sleepy towns."
Now the former chief, Gossage, took over back in march for longtime Hampstead Police Chief Ken Meekins when he resigned after more than two decades in that post.

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