ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WJZ) — Howard County Executive Calvin Ball on Monday announced the appointment of Gregory Der as the county’s next chief of police.

Der, an 18-year veteran of the police department, will take over for outgoing Chief of Police Lisa Myers. Myers, who was originally scheduled to retire at the end of the month, will delay her retirement until January when Der is ready to succeed her.

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Ball said Der is the “best person for the job,” who brings nearly 25 years of experience to the position, including holding various roles at the Howard County Police Department before he retired in 2017.

“As a graduate of the Howard County Public School System and a lifelong Howard County resident, he knows our community and what it will take to make this role so important,” said Ball, who described Der as a “thoughtful, determined and collaborative leader.”

Like Myers, the county’s first African American chief of police, Der will make history by becoming the county’s first police chief of Asian American heritage.

Der is a lifelong Howard County resident who graduated from Mt. Hebron High School in 1989 before earning his associate’s degree from Carroll Community College and his bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University.

During his time with the Howard County Police, Der served as a school resource officer, a hostage negotiator, a property crimes detective and a fire and explosives investigator. Most recently, Ball said, Der worked as chief deputy for the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s office.

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“As our first police chief of Asian American descent, [Der] truly understands that our diversity, our inclusivity and our commitment to building strong bonds with every part of our community are all important values that will help improve the quality of life for all,” the county executive said.

For his part, Der said he could not be happier to return to the police department.

“I’m humbled and honored to have been selected by County Executive Ball to lead what I and many others believe is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in our nation,” Der said. “I’m personally invested in the success of our agency and I know what our citizens rightfully expect of us.”

Ball and Der praised Chief Myers for her leadership of the department over the past three years and credited her with bringing about necessary change within the agency.

“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. Greg is engaged in the community. He understands the importance of collaboration to ensure our citizens receive the best possible service,” she said. “I look forward to working with Greg over the next weeks to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.”

As for what she intends to do once she retires for good, Myers said hopefully not much.

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“I am going to try my hand at doing absolutely nothing,” she quipped. “It will be nice.”

CBS Baltimore Staff