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Longtime Montgomery Co. police chief to step down

WASHINGTON — After 15 years of leading the more than 1200-member Montgomery County Police Department, Chief Tom Manger announced Wednesday that he’ll retire in April.

Manger will leave the department to head the Washington office of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, which represents police chiefs in the nation’s capital. He previously spent four years as the member-elected president of the association.

“What I’ll really miss is the friends that I have made over the years and that includes the folks in the community,” Manger said. “This is really a nice opportunity to stay involved in my profession and to continue the good work at the national level to influence policing in the right direction.”

Manger will work with Congress and the White House on national public policy regarding law enforcement.

“Chief Manger has set the bar high for police leadership … and leaves the department and county better and safer than when he arrived,” said County Executive Marc Elrich.

Manger began his career as a “summer cop” in Ocean City, Maryland. In 1977, he became a patrol officer in Fairfax County and rose to become police chief in Fairfax, where he received the silver medal of valor. Manger moved to Montgomery County in 2004.

The chief fondly looks back on a career of responding to emergency calls, helping people and confronting lawmakers, but won’t miss the late-night phone calls and round-the-clock responsibilities.

“While I understood that that was my responsibility and I worked hard every day to try to address those things — that relentless pressure, relentless stress — I’m looking forward to see[ing] what it’s like not having to deal with that,” Manger said.

Elrich has asked Manger to assist in the search for his replacement.

“I want to finish out by making sure we get a really superior police chief to continue the good work that this department’s doing,” Manger said.

Chief Manger also said he wants to spend more time with family and joked that he hopes they want to spend more time with him.

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