by Lisa Tome
Dallas Herbert knew exactly what to say to get hired as Rising Sun's newest police officer.
"He said the magic words to me 'I enjoy helping people'," said Chief Chip Peterson.
Herbert, 26, was hired December 31, 2013. He started work on Wednesday, February 19, after completing the mandated Comparative/Compliance School.
Herbert was born in Baltimore but grew up in Cecil County. He attended Perryville High School, graduating in 2005. He studied at Cecil College from 2007-09, taking general classes. He also worked at the YMCA of Cecil County as a lifeguard and personal trainer for four years.
He obtained his private security license and provided security at various locations including the Donaldson Brown Center in Port Deposit.
In December 2009, he graduated from the Delaware County, Pennsylvania Municipal Police Training course.
In 2011, he began working at the Tioga County Sheriff's Office where he worked as a deputy sheriff dealing with domestic relations and warrant service. In June 2011, he graduated from the Sheriff's Academy in Tioga County. He also worked as a police officer in South Centre Township, Pa., Columbia County, Pa., Scott Township, Pa. and Westfield Boro, Pa.
"Then I wanted to come back home. It was my intention to come home," said Herbert.
He heard from a Maryland State Trooper that Rising Sun was hiring officers. He was glad he was familiar with the area. "I junior wrestled in Rising Sun. I met with the chief and it looked like an opportunity for me," said Herbert. "Since I got into police work, I like the smaller departments. I can get acquainted with the town and get familiar with the people."
He will spend four weeks field training with other officers. His first day on the job last Wednesday, the new officer was directing traffic as town crews hauled snow from the center of town.
"Everyone was very friendly and followed directions. People were patient and saw that they (town crews) were doing snow removal," he said.
"Right now, I'm looking forward to learning the Maryland traffic and criminal laws, learning the town, and the people," Herbert said. He also said he is looking forward to foot patrols and getting to know the residents.
"I do want to help people. I've worked in a lot of towns where I didn't get to do that," said Herbert, who said he has been welcomed warmly.
"I've seen people from the gym, the YMCA, and high school. I like being back here in my home county. These are my kind of people," said Herbert.
PFC Herbert fits right into Chief Peterson's plan to have a well-rounded police department. The chief, who is now leading the town's largest police force in its history with a manpower of seven, said having officers with diverse experience is important.
"Every officer has unique talents. Having them all combined means having a unique force. We can do quite a bit for a small agency. It's like going to a toolbox and having the ability to get the right tool for the job," said the chief.
"As a new hire, he (PFC Herbert) has experience that is a tad bit different than the other officers. He brings another element to the toolbox," said Chief Peterson.
He said having more manpower means that the public will see a greater police presence and more involvement in the community. Rising Sun is bringing back K-9 and within the last year, trained an officer in DARE.
In 2013, RSPD made 61 drug arrests. The chief said he'd like to have done more in tackling this epidemic problem. "You have that remorse that you could have done more. You still have people who die or overdose. To say I'm satisfied with 61, I'm not. We'll never be satisfied. But I'm satisfied with the work my guys are doing," added Peterson.