Howard Exec Ball Appoints New Police Chief

photo courtesy of Howard County Government

County Executive Calvin Ball today appointed Gregory J. Der Chief of Police in Howard County. Der currently serves as Chief Deputy in the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office.

Der’s appointment is effective January 1, 2022. Chief Lisa Myers, who announced her retirement earlier this month, will remain in the post until December 31, 2021.

“Here in Howard County our Police Department is one of the best in the Nation, and we have a reputation as one of the safest communities in the Nation. The continued success of our Police Department is vital to the wellbeing of our community,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “I’ve known Gregory for nearly 15 years, and he has stood out as a thoughtful, determined, collaborative leader, who will guide our Police Department into the future. In these challenging times for our police officers, when crimes from human trafficking to online scams are becoming more complex, Greg’s leadership traits and his ability to build strong bonds with the community make him the right person for the job.”

Der will be first person of Asian descent to lead the Howard County Police Department. As the Chief Deputy, Maryland State Fire Marshal, Der has primary oversight of all sworn and civilian staff, supervisors, and managers stationed at six regional offices throughout Maryland.

According to a County press release:

Der started his career in 1997 as a narcotics detective and patrol officer with the Easton, Maryland Police Department before joining the Howard County Police Department in 1999. Der served as a school resource officer, hostage negotiator, property crimes detective, and fire and explosives investigator. He retired in August 2017.

Der received many honors during his more than 19 years of service with the Department, including five Unit Citations, two Certificates of Appreciation, 11 Commendation Certificates, an Investigative Award, and numerous Memorandums of Recognition and Letters of Appreciation.

Der graduated from Mt. Hebron High School in 1989. He obtained his Associates of Art Degree in Criminal Justice from Carroll Community College in 2009, and his Bachelor of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership from Johns Hopkins University in 2019.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of working closely with Greg over the years and I know that he has spent a career dedicated to public safety,” said Chief Lisa Myers. “Greg is engaged in the community and he understands the importance of collaboration to ensure our citizens receive the best possible service. I look forward to working with Greg over the next weeks to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.”

Howard County has seen trends of decreasing crime across many categories since 2017, including robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, and auto theft. County Executive Ball attributed the success in part to strong public safety partnerships and community bonds, and the leadership of departing Chief Lisa Myers.

“We look forward to working with Chief Der who possesses the many experiences and qualities necessary to move our agency forward,” said Sgt. James Capone, President Howard County Police Supervisors Alliance- FOP Lodge 143.

“We look forward to working with Chief Der and County Executive Ball in moving Howard County forward and keeping our citizens safe and proud of their police department,” said PFC Jamie Flynn, President of the Howard County Police Officers’ Association, FOP Lodge 21.

“I was excited to hear that Greg Der had been selected as chief,” said Sgt. Shapree Crawford, President of the HCPD Centurions for Justice, Minority Officers Association. “Having had the pleasure of working with him before he retired, I have the utmost confidence in him, and look forward to supporting him in any way that I can.”

Visit the Howard County website for more information.