By KRISSI HUMBARD — Hyattsville City Police Department Chief Doug Holland — who choked up at times — announced tonight that after almost 20 years, he will be retiring and stepping down as chief of police starting July 1. “I am so lucky to have served with such a talented group of individuals,” Holland said during public comment at tonight’s city council meeting.
From Chief Holland’s memo to City Administrator Tracey Nicholson:
The City of Hyattsville Police Department is one of the most progressive and professional public safety agencies in the state and entire Washington metropolitan region. We have a long standing positive and trusting relationship with the vast majority of our community members. By far, the most vital elements that have led to the successes of our agency are the individual members that serve and protect our city. Our sworn and civilian members are both talented and dedicated and represent the finest of any police department, of any size, in any part of this great country. I am so lucky to have served with such a talented group of professionals that truly believe in our core values of service, integrity and respect.
The time has come for new leadership that will bring a new perspective, new insights and new ideas. Capt. Amal Awad has been with the department for one year and in that time has proven herself to be such a leader. She has earned the respect of the members of the agency and the community. She is fully qualified, capable and eager to lead the department into the 21st century of policing.
I have held the position of Chief of Police for the City of Hyattsville for approximately 19 1⁄2 years. Combined with my prior service with the Prince George’s County Police Department, I have served nearly 44 1⁄2 years in the public safety arena. I am extremely lucky to have been able to serve in such an honorable profession for such a long time. This would not have been possible without tremendous support from many individuals.
First and foremost, I must thank Candy and Desiree as well as my entire family for accommodating my varied moods, ever changing schedules and missed family events. Candy has always patiently listened and offered sage advice during some of the challenging times. It’s time for us to spend more time together.
To the women and men of the police department, you are my second family. You all consistently exemplify the concept of teamwork. You work hard (and play hard) take care of each other and generously give back to our community through your many volunteer activities. Thank you for the honor of serving alongside you.
Police chiefs are a tight knit group and Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland have some great ones. I thank you all for allowing me to serve with you on the boards of the county, municipal and State associations. Your mentoring, guidance and friendships have been invaluable.
I thank the members of the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics for all the wonderful experiences, and I thank all of the Special Olympics athletes that have chosen to include me in your lives. Some of my most cherished moments have been representing law enforcement at the many venues.
I thank my fellow department directors for their guidance and support. You are truly one of the most talented and dedicated municipal teams anywhere. Hyattsville is lucky to have you. City Administrator Nicholson, you are the one that somehow holds us all together and points us in the same direction. Not an easy task at times. Thanks for your outstanding understanding and support of the police mission. In my humble opinion, government’s first and highest obligation is to provide public safety. My thanks to our current and former mayors and city council members for keeping public safety among your top priorities.
Finally, thank you to all of Hyattsville’s residents, businesses and guests. You are fantastic public safety partners and are what makes this city great, special and somewhat quirky. The place my family calls home. Although retiring from the position, I will still be around, will still be an active member of the community and looking for ways to stay involved. It has indeed been an honor to serve this city. I leave this position in good spirits and will have never-ending warmhearted memories.