- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 6, 2004

Montgomery County, after a six-month nationwide dragnet for a police chief to replace Charles A. Moose, yesterday named Fairfax County Police Chief John Thomas Manger to the post.

“I cannot think of any other job for which I would leave Fairfax County,” Chief Manger said.

Chief Manger, 49, plans on retiring Jan. 30 from the Fairfax County Police Department and taking up his new post in Montgomery County on Feb. 1.

The appointment must be approved by the Montgomery County Council, which is expected to make a decision within the next three weeks.

“I wanted someone who is going to be a leader for our police force and a good fit for our community,” Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan said in announcing the appointment.

The deal includes a $161,000 annual salary, the same amount paid to former Chief Moose and the highest for a police chief in Maryland. Chief Manger will make about $19,000 more than he did in Fairfax County.

Chief Moose was the public face of the October 2002 sniper manhunt, but quit last summer after the county’s ethics panel ruled he could not profit from a book he was writing about the experience. He has since been a candidate for police chief in several cities across the country and was a finalist most recently in Minneapolis.

Chief Manger joined the Fairfax County force in 1977 as a patrolman and moved up through the ranks until appointed chief in 1999. He was born in Baltimore, graduated from Montgomery County’s Montgomery Blair High School in 1973 and from the University of Maryland in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

“I am extremely pleased to bring Tom Manger back to Montgomery County, where he grew up,” Mr. Duncan said.

Chief Manger was selected after a six-month national search and was among finalists that included William O’Toole, the county’s acting police chief.

“Bill O’Toole has done an outstanding job as acting chief, and I am grateful to him for stepping up to the plate and keeping our police department on track,” Mr. Duncan said.

Chief Manger said Acting Chief O’Toole had agreed to remain on the force and assist in the transition.

The Montgomery County Police Department has a force of about 1,100 officers and 400 civilian employees, comparable in size to the Fairfax County department, which has about 1,300 officers and 500 civilian employees.

“Montgomery County is getting a great deal,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert F. Horan Jr. “He’s the top of the line. He knows what he’s doing. I hate to see him go.”

Mr. Horan and Chief Manger worked with Montgomery County police and other law enforcement officers during the sniper attacks.

Chief Manger wants to move his family to Montgomery County, but must delay plans because he and his wife, Jacqueline, are expecting their second child in February. They have a 2-year-old son.

Chief Manger is a dedicated amateur actor. He has performed in community theater with parts in such plays and musicals as “South Pacific” and “Forever Plaid.”

Fairfax County Executive Anthony H. Griffin must now find a replacement for Chief Manger.

Chief Manger, who was the eighth officer to become chief through the department’s ranks, suggested that Mr. Griffin wouldn’t have to look far. “I have three deputy chiefs who could walk in and take over right now,” he said.

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