Cambridge accepts police chief’s resignation
CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Police Chief Daniel A. Dvorak has resigned from his post, effective Saturday, April 15.
Cambridge City Council considered and accepted his resignation at their Monday, April 11 meeting. Major Mark Lewis was appointed interim chief.
According to city manager Sandra Tripp-Jones, Dvorak cited personal reasons for the decision, among which were health issues. His contract required 90 days notice resignation, but the council released him of that requirement.
“He will be missed,” Tripp Jones said.
Dvorak is a 24-year law enforcement veteran and came to Cambridge via the Newport Police Department in Rhode Island. He took over as chief in January 2015 after former Cambridge Police Chief Kenneth Malik retired from his post Dec. 1, 2014. Dvorak was selected by a committee of city officials and residents from a list of 30 who had applied for the position.
Upon beginning his role as chief, Dvorak stated his mission was to rebrand the department and make it great through listening to what the community needed and implementing a few goals of his own.
During his tenure, he initiated several communitybased programs to help fight crime while using battle-tested police tactics to keep the public safe.
Dvorak made it a point, from the very beginning, to
be more open with the community, showing what police work involves while building trust with Cambridge citizens. He sought to rebuild the community’s trust in their police force through transparency.
“Part of the global effort here is to restore the community’s trust in us,” he said. “For the last decade, people didn’t really know what we were doing and if they were asked questions, they really weren’t getting information.”
This effort was manifested through activities and programs, such as D.A.R.E., National Night Out, Shop with a Cop, the Community Police Academy, the reopening of the Pine Street police substation and other community offices, and establishing a social media presence with Facebook and Twitter.
Dvorak also spoke at events held by community organizations such as the annual Veteran’s Recognition, the Dorchester NAACP annual meeting, the Cambridge Woman’s Club, and many more.
CPD also restored and strengthened their relationships with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, Maryland State Police, Dorchester County Public Schools, the Department of Social Services and other agencies through Dvorak’s efforts.
In his 2015 annual report before the Cambridge City Council, Dvorak cited proactive policing and increased communication with the community as the reasons for an increase in the number of arrests and crimes reported.
“Part of the reason we saw the increase is because we are working harder,” he said. “When we are proactive, we discover crime and make arrests. For example, in 2014 we had 240 drug arrests and in 2015 we had 386. It isn’t because there are more drugs on the street. This is a 64 percent increase due to officers being proactive.”
“Another factor to be considered is our transparency and communication,” he said. “This has caused more people to make reports of crime because they know we are doing something about it.”
Dvorak also noted the success of a national recruitment campaign, undertaken because the department was suffering from high turnover due to issues related to salary, training and a lack of vision for the future.
The recruitment efforts brought in five new officers, and Dvorak attributed this largely to the City Council’s actions to restructure the starting pay to be more comparable with other departments in the region.
In addition, the city received a $375,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire three additional officers to the force.
With the 2016 annual report, the city saw a decrease in robberies, aggravated assaults, and thefts, with an overall 20 percent decrease in Part 1 crime city-wide.
The report also highlights many of the community programs initiated by the department and various honors received by CPD officers.
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CHIEF DAN DVORAK
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 91 on March 7, 2016, honors one member of the Cambridge Police Department, the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and Rescue Fire Company. Standing from left, CPD Chief Dan Dvorak, CPD Pfc. Stephen Hackett, Unit 91 President Patricia Creighton, RFC First Assistant Chief Adam Pritchett, RFC Chief Engineer Martin Pepper, RFC President C. Wayne Cook, Chairman Fran Johnson, Sheriff James W. Phillips Jr. and Deputy Joseph Carpenter.
Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak, Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley and Cambridge Commissioner Dave Cannon join children on Oct. 26, 2016, for the Cambridge Police Department’s trunk-or-treat event in downtown Cambridge.
Cambridge Mayor Victoria Jackson-Stanley, left, congratulates Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak, at HIS swearing-in ceremony in 2015 when he become Cambridge’s new police chief.