WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - Montgomery County police says Chief Thomas Manger has announced he will retire in April after 15 years of service within the county, and 42 years as a police officer.
"Chief Manger has set the bar high for police leadership, outstanding service both locally and nationally, and leaves the department and county better and safer than when he arrived," said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich in a statement.
Manger proposed requiring body cameras for all officers, and even began wearing one himself "as a demonstration of his leadership and commitment to improved transparency and accountability," said Elrich.
Manger implemented de-escalation training for officers and was instrumental in the passage of the 2016 Drunk Driving Reduction Act,also known as "Noah's Law," which strengthened Maryland's ignition interlock requirement for first-time drunk drivers.
Noah's Law honors fallen Montgomery County Police Officer Noah Leotta.
Elrich said of Manger in a statement:
"Chief Manger often says that the most important qualities he seeks in new officers are communication skills, which are essential in building relationships of trust and diffusing conflicts, and compassion, which cannot be taught. He leaves the county with a highly trained, professional force of officers who reflect an overarching spirit of public service, hard work, and dedication to the public good. They are an apt reflection of the chief himself, and his legacy here in the County will live on as they continue to work to protect and serve our residents. I congratulate him on his retirement and look forward to working closely with him to select our next Chief of Police."
Manger is the sixteenth police chief in the 97-year history of the Montgomery County Police Department.He is the second longest-serving police chief behind James S. McAuliffe, who served from 1955 until 1971.
"I have been blessed throughout my career to work alongside some of the finest men and women to ever wear a badge," said Manger.
"I want to especially thank Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich and past county executives Doug Duncan and Isiah Leggett, as well as Kate Hanley, a former chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, for their confidence in me."
Manger says his plans are to "stay engaged" with his community and profession. He says that he has been asked to lead the Major Cities Chiefs Association, where he just completed four years as president, as they expand their legislative agenda in Washington.
Manger graduated from the University of Maryland, Manger and began his law enforcement career in 1976 as a "summer cop" in Ocean City, Maryland.
He was sworn in as a Fairfax County, Virginia police officer in 1977 and rose through the ranks. He was eventually made chief of police in Fairfax County from 1998 to 2004. He was awarded the Silver Medal of Valor in 1993.
Along with being recognized as by Washingtonian magazine as a Washingtonian of the Year for 2018, Manger received several national awards, including the 2007 Law Enforcement Award from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the 2016 Gorowitz Institute Service Award from the Anti-Defamation League, the 2017 Keeper of the Dream award from the National Immigration Forum, and the 2018 FBI National Executive Institute Penwith Award.
Manger was also inducted into the Montgomery County Human Rights Hall of Fame in 2012.