Howard County Executive Calvin Ball (D) appointed Gregory J. Der as chief of the county’s police department Monday.
“The continued success of our Police Department is vital to the wellbeing of our community. I’ve known Gregory for nearly 15 years, and he has stood out as a thoughtful, determined, collaborative leader, who will guide our Police Department into the future,” Ball said in a statement. “I very much look forward to working closely with Chief Der and continue ensuring Howard County is the safest community in our nation for all.”
Der, the first person of Asian descent to head the department, will replace current Howard County Police Chief Lisa D. Myers, who announced plans to retire earlier this month. Myers was the first Black person and the first woman to lead the department as chief.
Der will leave his position as chief deputy of the Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office to assume the role on Jan. 1.
“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,” Myers said. “I look forward to working with Greg over the next weeks to ensure a seamless transition of leadership.”
Der received an associate of arts degree in criminal justice from Carroll Community College and a bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership. He began his career in public safety as a patrol officer and narcotics detective with the Easton Police Department in 1997 before moving to the Howard County Police Department in 1999.
While with the county police, Der served as a school resource officer, property crimes detective, hostage negotiator and fire and explosives investigator. He retired from the agency in 2017.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected by County Executive Ball to lead what I and many others believe is one of the finest law enforcement agencies in our state,” Der said. “I could not be happier to come home to the Howard County Police Department.”