He will lead the Frederick Police Dept. until a permanent chief is appointed.
A new acting chief of the Frederick Police Department formally took over at the close of business on Wednesday, December 5th. Captain Tom Ledwell was named as acting chief, replacing Kim Dine, who left to become chief of the US Capitol Police.
Captain Ledwell says as acting chief, he will have some large shoes to fill. "I think Chief Dine has done an excellent job, particularly reaching out all the members of the community, establishing trust and interaction," says Ledwell. He says the community policing policies put in place by Dine will remain. "I can insure that we will continue with the relationships we've had, the bridges that have been built. We're not going to let 'em crumble," he says.
He also says community policing is part of the job of an officer out on a beat, to be in touch with everyone he or she sees while on patrol. That includes getting out of the police cruiser, and talking with people. "Frederick City is unique. It's a fun place to be a police officer because we get a variety of things. We're not so large that you get lost in the shuffle. You get to know people in the community," says Ledwell.
Captain Ledwell says community policing is one of the three pillars he will use for running the agency. The others are intelligent-led policing and problem solving. "I kind of look at policing in 2012 as something similar to the business world," he says. "If we're not in tune with technology and best practices, then we're falling behind. There's a lot of good concepts from the traditional policing methods that we still incorporate. But we also need to be advanced and use information that's now available to use to be more effective and efficient."
Ledwell's formal education includes a bachelor's degree and a master of business administration.
Captain Ledwell was appointed acting chief while the city officials begin a nationwide search for a new police chief. WFMD News asked Ledwell if he would like the job on a permanent basis. "I am considering it. I haven't made up my mind yet. It's still something I'm discussing with my family," he replies.
Captain Ledwell has been with the Frederick Police Department for 20 years.