- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Prince George’s County Council on Tuesday confirmed a 27-year police veteran as the county police department’s new chief.

Mark A. Magaw, a career county police officer, has held the position of interim chief since he was appointed by County Executive Rushern L. Baker III on Dec. 6 to replace then-Chief Roberto Hylton.

Despite his familiarity with the county and experience with the department, Mr. Baker joked that when he initially discussed potential candidates for the appointment with Chief Magaw, “the first thing he did was give me everyone’s name but his.”

Chief Magaw, who grew up in the county and worked his way up through the police department, previously served as commander of two police districts and the strategic services division.

Along with Chief Magaw’s official appointment, police officials say two other leadership positions within the department will be made permanent. Majs. Dwayne Preston and Craig Howard will be appointed as two of the department’s four deputy chiefs, said current Deputy Chief Kevin Davis, who will also retain his position.

A third deputy chief will need to be chosen to replace Lt. Col. Gary Cunningham, who is leaving the department, Lt. Col. Davis said.

Thanking his family, who joined him at the County Council’s hearing in Upper Marlboro on Tuesday, Chief Magaw said he would continue work to keep the department engaged in the community.

“The police department can only function when we have the community’s trust,” he said, pledging that he would “not allow it to be violated.”

The council on Tuesday also confirmed Thomas M. Himler as head of the county’s Office of Management and Budget and Gail D. Francis to lead the Office of Finance.

Mr. Baker said the nominees “bring a wealth of experience, dedication and talent” to their jobs.

The confirmations were unanimous.