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New Parkville Police Captain Brings 26 Years of Experience

Parkville's police station has a new commander, and Patch sat down to talk to him about his career, police work and his family.

 

After 26 years on the force and nearly 11 years as a captain, Baltimore County police Capt. Gordon Skinner has found his way to the top office at Precinct 8 on Old Harford Road.

It might be his first time in the upstairs office, but Skinner is no stranger to the Parkville-Overlea area. He grew up in nearby White Marsh and graduated from Overlea High School.

After he joined the force, Skinner was assigned to the Parkville precinct twice, as a patrol officer from 1986-1987 and again in the early 1990s.

"This is just a neat place to work," Skinner said. "[There's] a lot of positive interaction between the people and the police; you looked forward to coming to work here when I was a patrol officer.”

Since making captain at age 36, Skinner's served as a precinct commander in Essex, as traffic management commander for the department, and most recently as the head of the Office of Safe Schools.

"That was like having a whole precinct full of kids," he said.

The Office of Safe Schools manages 63 police officers assigned to every high school and all but six middle schools in Baltimore County.

"A lot of the stuff that I've done for the past couple of years has had a countywide impact," he said. "This job will obviously be focused just on the precinct—it's a specific area, a specific group of people, and it will be nice to be able to focus on more specific issues."

Skinner isn't one to tell stories about his career as a cop—he's perfectly happy not going for the glory.

"One thing that I’ve always been very comfortable with is being in the background. I don’t need to be the one being seen as long as the work is getting done. I’m a big teamwork kind of person. It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as it’s getting done properly," he said.

Like his predecessor, former Parkville precinct commander Thomas Busch, Skinner places a heavy emphasis on communication.

"It’s too easy to overlook the support that people give the police department. We don’t just get to do good things; we have to do things that people consider controversial, you absolutely have to have the support of the public," Skinner said.

"I tell my officers 'take an extra five minutes to explain to people why you did something or why you can’t do something' ... it’s unacceptable to say 'it’s not my job.' "

The new captain has always been drawn to police work. His father served as a precinct commander in White Marsh and in Cockeysville and his maternal grandfather was a sergeant with the Baltimore City Police Department.

"It’s kind of like a family business sort of thing, that’s how we do an awful lot of our recruiting is by word of mouth," he said.

Skinner lives in Pennsylvania with his wife of 17 years who worked as a dispatcher for Baltimore County. That's where they met. He has three children between the ages of 9 and 15.

He's not sure if any of his children plan to follow in his footsteps like he followed in his father's, but he isn't worried about it.

"I think this is the kind of job that you don’t encourage somebody to take," Skinner said. "If somebody considers it a calling, they have to make that decision. You don’t make it for them."

Kim Collington January 04, 2012 at 01:09 AM
QUoting you - "What I meant about the cops was that if you got pulled over, or got into trouble, it would be so sad if they recognized your name. Cast not the first stone, little conservative, and turn the other cheek." unquote BA in English? Ahh Huh. Ur probably that squirrely phys ed teacher from PHS? Again nitwit what could the police do about my comments if they stopped me for god forbid not using a turn signal? Nothing, NADA! Most of them would be asking for my phone number. lol Are you really that poorly educated in First Amendment rights? " Little conservative?" hmmm..... your liberal slip was showing ions ago.. It must be weird living in a fantasy where you only hear things that you want to.
LalainMaryland January 04, 2012 at 01:15 AM
This shall be my last response to you because you are not worth it. However, as an ENGLISH teacher, I must correct you. 1-use commas when addressing someone ( your moronic nitwit comment. 2-EONS is how you spell it. Ions are scientific. I know all about the First Amendment. Unfortunately people like you abuse it by spewing garbage. As far as getting your number, you stole that photo from Playboy. God only knows why your true face looks like. And a fantasy would be commentators like you disappearing. You poor soul, you must have no companionship, or be just a hateful person. I pity you.
LalainMaryland January 04, 2012 at 01:16 AM
EDIT-what you look like, not why
Kim Collington January 04, 2012 at 01:26 AM
That's two responses teach. OMG, you got me on my commas. ions, lol I'm a scientist! bwahaha a slip. They need a bigger edit box on this site. I find it rather pitiful that you would suggest, support, or applaud a law enforcement officer taking some sort of vengeance on an American citizen exercising his/her First Amendment rights. I suppose you support Obama's recently signed law allowing him to arrest, detain and hold indefinelty American citizens without benefit of an attorney at law or charges being filed. Some American you are. I would suggest Communism. Listen up net nitwit I didn't steal the profile photo from anyone. Obviously it bothers you so I'll keep it. A solider at my lab in APG had it and because the photo is of a person that is almost an exact double to me he emailed it to me. So now you know the rest of the story. Google Mama Cass, you might find one close enough to use for yourself. The final point and MATCH POINT , [Game, Set & Match to moi ] the new police Capitan is not a resident of BC nor do his children attend BC schools. Even he had enough sense to get out of the Peoples Republic. Keep indoctrinating those young minds into becoming wards of the state libbie. I bet $1 million you just have to respond. lmbo
Ruth Baisden January 10, 2012 at 02:39 PM
You’re invited to meet Parkville’s New Police Captain at this Thursday’s Greater Parkville Community Council Meeting. Captain Skinner will address crime related concerns in the Parkville, Carney, and Cub Hill area. The meeting is open to the public and will be held: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:00 PM, Parkville Recreation and Senior Center, 8601 Harford Road, Parkville.

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