Sroka Named Police Chief

Photo | Clark Day

Mark Sroka will be sworn in as Gaithersburg police chief on July 12. The new police chief’s advisory council meets on July 14 at the Activity Center at Bohrer Park.

Mark Sroka will be sworn in as the city’s next police chief at a special Mayor and Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. on July 12 at Gaithersburg City Hall.

As the city’s top cop, Sroka will earn a base salary of $145,903 a year, making him one of the city’s highest wage earners and putting him at the top of his pay scale. In addition, Sroka will also receive the $2,000 stipend included in the 2011 fiscal year budget for every full-time employee, according to City Manager Angel Jones.

As part of the deal, Sroka signed a three-year contract with the city on June 9. Jones said the contract “signals our mutual commitment to a long-term relationship.”

“I am pleased to accept the appointment as the chief of police and look forward to the opportunity to lead the organization in continuing to provide the highest quality of law enforcement services to our citizens,” Sroka said in a statement posted online.

Other benefits Sroka will reap in his new post include a take-home vehicle, three weeks of annual leave, a city-issued cell phone, and a clothing and shoe allowance. According to details in his contract, the city has also agreed to pay for any costs associated with Sroka attending the FBI National Academy, including paid administrative leave.

Sroka is not planning to relocate his family from Woodbine, Md., to Gaithersburg, according to Jones.

His appointment followed a nationwide search that included several opportunities for public input.

City leaders first met Sroka in January of this year when he was detailed to the city as interim police chief following the resignation of former chief John King. A major with the Maryland State Police, Sroka reported to work in Gaithersburg for nearly three months, January 13 – April 9, where his performance earned rave reviews from staff and the city’s elected leaders. During that time, Sroka said he was impressed with the professionalism of the Gaitherburg Police Department.

Still, Sroka did not apply for the city’s top police job until his assignment as interim chief was over and only after the city reposted the job for a second time in order to seek more qualified applicants.

“This was an arduous process, with a number of outstanding candidates applying for the position,” said Jones. “I was particularly impressed with his high ethical standards and the broad range of skills that will be immediately transferable to the benefit of our community.”