La Plata says farewell to Captain Brooks
Stalwart retires from La Plata Police Dept., community saddened
It was a sad day in La Plata on Tuesday as the town council, local residents and the La Plata Police Department bid farewell to Capt. William “Bill” Brooks, 63, who has been serving the town’s citizens since Oc- tober 1993.
Brooks decided to retire after 44 years of serving in the field of law enforcement. He announced his retirement as commander of the investigations division in 2016. During the town council business meeting, Brooks was rec- ognized by the council and staff with a town seal, showing appreciation for his kindhearted efforts in the La Plata community.
“It’s a bittersweet thing … It’s time to go, but I love my job,” Brooks said.
He was given the honor of reading the police department’s monthly report for the last time Tuesday. Brooks concluded by thanking the town for allowing him to serve. It was a moment that brought Brooks as well as audience mem- bers to tears.
“I hope that the citizens understand that our police department is very professional. I love [La Plata Police Chief Carl Schinner] to death and he’s very good for this department and for the town. I may be gone but it
doesn’t weaken what the department has. There are lots and lots of experience and capabilities here,” Brooks said.
During his time with the LPPD, Brooks served as the custodian of records, managed the department’s records management system and served as the town’s liaison to the La Plata Crime Watch Council. He has won numerous awards including Officer of the Year in 1998 for his work with Crime Watch, and is listed in Who’s Who Honors.
Brooks was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Clinton. He is currently a Charles County resident and has served on the LPPD for the last 23 years. Prior to working for the La Plata Police Department, Brooks began his law enforcement career with the Prince George’s County Police Depart- ment as a cadet in 1972 and served for 21 years.
“I’ve watched this department grow,” Brooks said. “There were four of- ficers when I started and there are 18 now. I remember being in a small office in the old Town Hall building. We’ve moved, we’ve grown and now we’ve even out- grown the building we are currently in. It’s been a fun ride watching all of this happen. It’s been great seeing these guys, that we’ve hired, mature into lieutenants.”
Schinner said it’s tough watching 44 years of law enforcement experience walk out the door. He said Brooks’ counsel, interaction with the citi- zens and wholistic solutions to problems will also be missed by the department.
“He’s been the heart and soul of the depart- ment for such a long time. The department looks up to him ... He will be very tough to replace,” Schinner said.
“He’s a great leader and great mentor and losing him means we’re losing a wealth of knowledge that is going to take a while to replace,” said Lt. Michael Payne. “When I started working with the LPPD I was a young buck who never worked one day on the road and I took to him for his experience. He mentored me through and made me what I am today. He was like my ‘work father’ and he’s going to be missed.”
Not only did the council recognize Brooks’ many years of dedicated service to the Town of La Plata, but they also acknowledged his friendly personality and the manner in which he per- formed his duties.
“La Plata is a better place because of his work ethic and hard work,” said Councilman Lynn Gilroy. “He’s a fine gentleman and dedicated police officer so we’re going to miss him. We know that he’s going to mentor a lot of our officers now and we wish him all of the best.”
Brooks and his wife plan to go RVing around the country during his retirement and they will continue to be involved in the Good Sam Club, an international organization of RV drivers. Although retired, he is still looking for ward to seeing the police depar tment expand and continue to be successful during his absence.
“I hope the town has good memories of me,” Brooks said.
Capt. William “Bill” Brooks, La Plata Police Department, at the town council business meeting on Feb. 28.
The La Plata Town Council recognized Capt. William “Bill” Brooks of the La Plata Police Department with a town seal on Feb. 28.