Mayor David S. Gysberts administered the oath of office at the start of the council’s meeting, and then Holtzman’s wife and parents did the honors of decorating Hagerstown’s new chief, who served as acting chief after Arthur Smith’s retirement this past September.
Holtzman, who called it a very humbling and rewarding honor, was a little lost for words after the brief ceremony in the council chamber.
“Being surrounded by all your friends and family members and co-workers, and just to get the support from the law enforcement community that I got tonight, it was just a bit overwhelming and a tremendous experience,” he said.
Washington County Sheriff Douglas W. Mullendore and Lt. Tom Woodward, commander of the Maryland State Police Barrack in Hagerstown, both attended the ceremony, among numerous other ranking emergency and public safety personnel.
“It’ll be my job now to live up to the post and to get to work for the community,” Holtzman said.
Prior to Holtzman’s appointment, Gysberts said he spoke to Smith about Holtzman’s character and qualifications, and it made it an “easy, unanimous” decision from the five-member city council when it came time to find the city’s new chief.
“(Smith) had nothing but positive things to say about then-Capt. Holtzman, now our chief,” the mayor said. “And also, just my own personal experience working with him in Neighborhoods 1st, I know he’s a classy guy who makes data-driven decisions, who’s very community focused.”