Becker re­tires from CCSO, joins La Plata po­lice

Re­tires from sher­iff’s of­fice after 30 years

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com Twit­ter: @An­drew_IndyNews

After a ded­i­cated ca­reer of 30 years with the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice, Maj. Chris Becker’s last day with the agency was Fri­day. On Mon­day, he be­came a cap­tain and as­sis­tant chief of the La Plata Po­lice De­part­ment.

Becker, born and raised in Bowie, joined the sher­iff’s of­fice in 1987 as a pa­trol of­fi­cer. Over the course of the next three decades, he spent time in many dif­fer­ent ca­pac­i­ties, and was of­ten thrust into a lead­er­ship role.

“Chris is def­i­nitely a leader. It goes with­out say­ing,” said Sher­iff Troy Berry (D). “You can see that from the di­verse na­ture of his ca­reer.”

“He’s a per­son of in­tegrity,” the sher­iff added. “He’s a high en­ergy per­son, mean­ing that he loves to be en­gaged and in­volved in pro­tect­ing and serv­ing his com­mu­nity, which he has done for so many years.”

From ac­ci­dent re­con­struc­tion, to hostage ne­go­ti­a­tion, to crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions, to in­ter­nal af­fairs, Becker’s di­verse ex­pe­ri­ence and calm, pro­fes­sional de­meanor, es­pe­cially dur­ing emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, helped pro­pel him through the ranks through­out his ca­reer.

As ma­jor, Becker served as as­sis­tant sher­iff of op­er­a­tions, a po­si­tion he was el­e­vated to un­der Berry’s ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“Cor­rec­tions, pa­trol, crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions, all of that falls un­der this helm,” Becker said of his role. “And it has been a great op­por­tu­nity to be in charge and help de­velop all of those com­po­nents.”

Re­flect­ing on his ca­reer, Becker found his work as a nar­cotics de­tec­tive to be most sat­is­fy­ing, build­ing cases against higher level drug deal­ers in the 1990s.

“The heroin epi­demic that we’re see­ing now wasn’t in ex­is­tence then,” he said. “Crack and PCP were pre­dom­i­nately the drugs of choice when I was in nar­cotics, but the level of vi­o­lence was still there. As you see to­day, it was true back then, al­most all crime can be rooted back to a nexus to drugs.”

He spent three years there be­fore he was pro­moted to sergeant and su­per­vi­sor of the de­tec­tives in the auto theft and rob­bery unit. Later, he was as­signed to the in­ter­nal af­fairs unit as an in­ves­ti­ga­tor, and even­tu­ally was raised to lieu­tenant and com­man­der of the unit.

In 2005, he made his­tory as the first com­man­der of agency’s newly formed Home­land Se­cu­rity Divi­sion, which helped fa­cil­i­tate in­for­ma­tion-shar­ing be­tween lo­cal, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment en­ti­ties.

In 2008, he was trans­ferred again to over­see pa­trol op­er­a­tions in the county, work­ing as both a dis­trict and op­er­a­tional com­man­der, un­til he was pro­moted to ma­jor when Berry took of­fice in 2014.

“As I was pro­vided op­por­tu­ni­ties, I tried to make the best of them and show peo­ple that I was an as­set in what­ever as­sign­ment you were ask­ing me to do,” Becker said of his ca­reer. “… Leav­ing here is very, very bit­ter­sweet, [but] know­ing that I’m stay­ing lo­cal and stay­ing in law en­force­ment helps ease that a lit­tle bit.”

“I’m very for­tu­nate to feel like I’ve had a part of mak­ing this agency the great agency that it is,” he added, “and I an­tic­i­pate it con­tin­u­ing to grow.”

On Tues­day, the sher­iff’s of­fice hon­ored Becker’s ca­reer with a spe­cial lunch cel­e­bra­tion after a staff meet­ing, a good­bye to a role model and friend to many.

“Our loss here at the sher­iff’s of­fice will def­i­nitely be the La Plata town po­lice’s gain,” said Berry. “… He will serve Chief [Carl] Schin­ner very well.”

“Ma­jor Chris Becker is, and al­ways will be, a part of the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice fam­ily.” he con­tin­ued. “He will be missed.”

Schin­ner is happy to have him on board.

“Ma­jor Becker will bring to the La Plata Po­lice De­part­ment 30 years of ex­pe­ri­ence as a law en­force­ment pro­fes­sional,” Schin­ner said. “As the agency con­tin­ues to grow in the num­ber of sworn of­fi­cers and ex­pands its spe­cial­iza­tions, Ma­jor Becker’s ex­pe­ri­ence will ac­cen­tu­ate a tal­ented team who pro­vide La Plata ci­ti­zens and busi­ness own­ers a high qual­ity of pro­fes­sional ser­vice.”

STAFF PHOTO BY AN­DREW RICHARD­SON

Maj. Chris Becker with Sky­lah Brown, 4, as they cel­e­brated Na­tional Night Out at the Sh­effield neigh­bor­hood on Aug. 2, 2016.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Sher­iff Troy Berry (D) pre­sented Maj. Chris Becker with his re­tire­ment badge after a lunch cel­e­bra­tion on April 25, a thank you for his 30 years of ser­vice to the Charles County Sher­iff’s Of­fice.

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