Hyattsville police chief retires, passes the torch
By CHRIS TULP — Col. Douglas K. Holland retired from the Hyattsville City Police Department (HCPD) after serving for nearly 20 years as the chief of police.
Before coming to Hyattsville, Holland served in the Prince George’s County Police Department, where he retired at the rank of major following a distinguished career in law enforcement.
He has had many accomplishments throughout his career.
“Anything that has been accomplished during my career is the result of two things: A loving and supportive family and being surrounded by highly competent, dedicated, caring coworkers,” Holland said. “Everything has been a team effort.”
He initiated a series of Community Conversations, launched and advised the Police and Public Safety Advisory Committee and the volunteer Community Chaplains group, and implemented a host of other outreach initiatives.
The City of Hyattsville received grant funds to analyze and map trends, apprehend criminals and direct resources to reduce violent crime thanks to Holland’s engagement with the Governor’s Office on Crime Control and Prevention.
“In addition to all this, the men and women of the police department continue to receive the best equipment, quality state-of-the-art training that includes integrating communication, assessment and tactics (ICAT), implicit bias, cultural competence, and de-escalation training,” said interim Police Chief Amal Awad.
Hyattsville is the only city in Maryland with an electric police car (Chevrolet Bolt) and electric motorcycle for patrolling parks and trails, thanks to Sgt. Richard Hartnett, who applied for grants for the electric vehicles.
“[Holland] is a humble man and a phenomenal leader who has led the City of Hyattsville Police Department to become one of the most progressive 21st century police departments in this region,” said Awad. “Under Chief Holland’s leadership, the City of Hyattsville Police Department was one of the first public safety agencies in Prince George’s County, Maryland, to implement a body-worn camera program.”
Under Holland’s leadership, the police department became an internationally accredited law enforcement agency in 1999, through the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
The department has maintained their accredited status, leading Holland to receive the prestigious CALEA Egon Bittner Award in 2016 for excellence in commanding a CALEA accredited agency for a period of 15 or more continuous years.
Holland is the second police chief in the state of Maryland to be honored with the award, joining Chief Terrence Treschuk of the Rockville City Police Department, who won the award in 2011.
In addition to Holland’s service in the city and the county, he has served as the president of the Police Chief’s Association of Prince George’s County and the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association, chairman of the Maryland Municipal League Police Executive Association and chairman of the Maryland Law Enforcement Torch Run to Benefit Special Olympics.
His decision to retire officially went into effect July 1.
“Being a chief of any police agency is an awesome honor and an enormous responsibility,” said Holland. “The department is in a good position with some great leaders ready and anxious to bring fresh energy and ideas to take the department to the next level of professionalism.”
Holland continued, “I am lucky to be able to leave this profession after all these years on my own terms and I am anxious to spend more time with my wife Candy, daughter Desiree and the rest of my family.
“It has been an honor and privilege to be part of the tremendous transformation of Hyattsville for the past 20 years. It’s simply just time to move over and let others take the torch and run with it.”
Capt. Awad is now serving as the interim chief of police. Awad retired from the Prince George’s County Police Department at the rank of major after serving 23 years. She joined HCPD in April 2017. Awad has a Master of Science degree in management from Johns Hopkins University, and is a native Washingtonian and long-time resident of Prince George’s County.
“Although we will all miss Chief Holland dearly, he has left his mark and will not be too far away, as he is a proud resident,” said Awad. “We will continue to … enjoy spending moments together during events like Summer Jam, National Night Out, and Shop with a Cop.”
Awad continued, “I feel honored to have been entrusted to lead our agency moving forward as the interim chief of police. I, as all of our officers, take great pride in this agency and the city, and look forward to learning, leading, and growing with our talented group of men and women, and the members of this beautiful community.”