As Commander David Gillespie prepares to leave Germantown for his new post as Chief of Police in Melbourne, Fla., Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas J. Manger has named Captain Mark Plazinski as the new commander of the 5th District in Germantown, effective Monday, May 1.
Plazinski is currently the Director of MCPD’s Criminal Investigations Division, which is comprised of several sections responsible for investigating a wide range of property crimes and crimes against persons. The Criminal Investigations Division includes the detective sections in all six police districts, as well as the Financial Crimes Section, the Central Auto Crimes Section, and MCPD’s Crime Lab.
“I am very excited about the assignment,” said Plazinski. “Every captain, every executive wants to be a commander at some point in time, and I am honored that I was selected for this position. It is a great station. Commander Gillespie did great things there, and I am hoping to continue on work with the officers and community members to address issues of public safety and make it a great place to work and live. It is a great area, great people live there, and I am looking forward to coming up and being part of the team.”
Plazinski is a 23-year veteran of the Montgomery County Police Department, beginning his career in Silver Spring District, where he worked eight-and-half years. He later went to work in the investigative section of District 1 in Rockville for two years. He was then promoted to sergeant and transferred to the 4th District in Wheaton where he was a patrol sergeant. He worked for a number years as a supervisor in the child abuse/sexual assault section. He was then transferred and worked at the training academy for two years.
He was promoted to lieutenant and named Deputy District Commander of the 6th District – Montgomery Village, after two years he was moved to Management Services Bureau where he worked as an administrative lieutenant, before being promoted to captain in 2014 and named Director of the Public Safety Academy. In the Fall of 2016, Plazinski was promoted to Director of Criminal Investigations.
“I was surprised,” said Plazinski, “I think everybody is very happy for Commander Gillespie, but I don’t think anybody was looking for movement at the commander level. There was such a strong group of commanders; there wasn’t a large chance of anyone being moved up, I was surprised when I got the call. I was humbled and honored to be selected. It is a really great group of current commanders that we currently have, and I look forward to working with them.”
“I am excited,” said the incoming Commander. “I have never worked in the Germantown area before, and while that makes it a little bit of a challenge, it is also a great opportunity. I will be working with officers and staff in the department that I haven’t been able to work with that much. I look forward to getting to know the community in the Germantown area. It is a great opportunity that is close to home. I am very excited about the assignment.”
Commander Gillespie will begin his new position as the Chief of the Melbourne, Florida Police Department on June 5.
Gillespie is a native of Montgomery County and a second-generation Montgomery County Police officer; he began his law enforcement career on August 7, 1989. His father, Bernard Gillespie, served with MCP from 1961 to 1984 and retired as a sergeant.
During his career, Gillespie served in many capacities to include the Director of the Special Investigations Division, the Public Safety Training Academy, and the Major Crimes Division. He has served as Commander of the Fifth District from 2013 to the present and will retire as the longest-serving Fifth District Commander since that station opened in 1980.
Gillespie has been the commander at the 5th District headquarters since March of 2013, during his time there he has seen much growth in the Germantown area from the construction of Holy Cross Hospital –Germantown to the Clarksburg Premium Outlets, and the exploding development in the Clarksburg area.
“Leaving Montgomery County is extremely difficult to do,” said Gillespie. “I grew up here in Montgomery County, and the people and friendships that I have in this area are going to be greatly missed. I will miss that more than anything.”
Melbourne City Manager Mike McNees said, "In David Gillespie, I believe we have selected just the right man to lead an already outstanding department into the future, and in Melbourne, that is an exciting future. I believe we will be well served by Chief Gillespie.”
Melbourne is a city in Brevard County, about 45 minutes southeast of Orlando on the Atlantic Coast of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 76,068. The municipality is the second-largest in the county by both size and population.
Gillespie is the father to three children and attributes much of his success to his family and extended family.
Top: Capt. Mark Plazinski will become Commander Mark Plazinski on May 1, when he takes the helm at 5D-Germantown as current Commander David Gillespie leaves to take over as Chief of Police in Melbourne, Florida. Photo courtesy MCPD.
Next: The sign outside of 5D headquarters in Germantown.
Next: Commander David Gillespie.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.