ELKTON, June 6, 2014 — The Town of Elkton announced that the 13th officer to command the Elkton Police Department was appointed Chief of Police on June 6. The former second in command, Matthew J. Donnelly, assumed leadership of the force with 42-sworn personnel on that date, but he had been acting as the executive since July 2013, when Chief William Ryan, Jr. retired. Holding practically every job with the agency, he joined the department in October 1989.
As the leadership is handed over to a new commander to guide the department in the early 21st century, it’s a good time for a historical list, a register of the Chiefs who led the agency for over 100-years. The town has had some form of law enforcement since the 19th century, the officer being called a bailiff in those formative years. This official preserved the peace, took care of streets, impounded wild animals, collected taxes, carried messages for the council, and served as the lamplighter.
In 1908, George M. Potts was appointed to a two-year term as bailiff. Gradually during his time the essentials of a modern police department slowly emerged and the bailiff was regularly called Chief Potts by Elkton’s press corps. And in time the town started conferring that designtion on the officer, and he became the first person to answer to the title of chief.
After faithfully serving the municipality for 27-years, Chief Potts retired in 1935. Here is a list of the commanders.
1908 – 1935 . . . George M. Potts
1936 – 1938 . . . W. Coudon Reynolds
1945 – 1948 . . . W. Coudon Reynolds
1948 – 1962 . . . William H. White
1962 – 1980 . . . Thomas N. McIntire, Jr.
1981 – 1983 . . . Frederick Nebrauer
1984 – 1993 . . . Calvin Krammes
1993 – 1995 . . . J.D. Ervin
1995 – 1998 . . . Bruce Speck
1998 – 2000 . . .Charles Jagoe (Acting Chief)
2000 – 2003 . . . Daniel Mahan
2004 – 2005 . . . Richard Pounsberry, Jr.
2005 – 2013 . . . William E. Ryan, Sr.
2013 – 2014 . . . Matthew J. Donnelly (Acting Chief)
2014 – Pres . . . Matthew J. Donnelly
Acknowledgment: Assistance with this list provided by Michelle Henson, Town of Elkton Administration, and Tracy Holter, of EPD, Chief Donnelly’s secretary.