UPDATED: Plazinski Named New 5th District Commander, Gillespie Takes Melbourne Police Chief Job

Captain Mark Plazinski PHOTO | MCPD

UPDATED 4.25.17 Montgomery County Police Captain Mark Plazinski, a 23-year veteran of the department, has been named the police department’s new 5th district commander. He begins his new assignment on May 1st, according to a news release from the Montgomery County Police Department.

Plazinski takes over for Captain David Gillespie who is leaving the department after he was chosen as the new police chief for the Melbourne Police Department in Florida.

ORIGINAL POST Captain David Gillespie, who is the commander of the Montgomery County Police Department’s 5th District police station, is leaving his post for a new job.

Gillespie has been named the new chief of the Melbourne Police Department in Florida.

“It’s been exciting,” Gillespie said, noting that he’s humbled by the selection, and encouraged by the support he’s received.

Mike McNees, the city manager of Melbourne, said over 130 people applied for the position after Police Chief Steve Mimbs announced he was retiring after 37 years of service.

Captain David Gillespie PHOTO | MCPD

“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,” said McNees in a city news release. “I am grateful to the Melbourne City Councilmembers, representatives of the community, and particularly the employees of the Melbourne Police Department who participated in this selection process. It was truly a team effort, and I believe we will be well served by Chief Gillespie.”

Gillespie said it’s tough to walk away from the police department where’s he worked for almost 28 years. The father of three children, Gillespie said he will miss the county where he grew up, and his colleagues at the police department.

“While I am excited about this new challenge, the move is bittersweet because I will miss the friendships, teamwork and camaraderie we have at 5D,” he said in an email to his colleagues on April 1st.

Since 2013, Gillespie has served as commander of the 5th District police station, which serves about 200,000 citizens, including the growing communities of Clarksburg and Germantown. Gillespie holds a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice from the University of Maryland and a master’s of science degree in management from Johns Hopkins University. He has been a certified Instructor for the Maryland Police Training Commission for ten years, and an adjunct faculty member at the University of Maryland where he teaches classes on advanced police administration and drugs and crime.

According to Gillespie, one of the things that attracted him to the Melbourne job was the similarities between the size of the city’s police department and the 5th district station.  Although Melbourne’s police department is a little bigger, he said the staffing levels and budgets are rather similar.

So who is taking over for Gillespie?

That’s a decision that Police Chief Tom Manger is expected to announce in the coming weeks.

“The best advice I can give them is to build relationships in the community and to invest in the officers at the station,” said Gillespie, when asked if he has any advice for his replacement. He said that’s what he tried to continue when he took over for Commander Luther Reynolds at the 5th District Station four years ago.

Cheryl Mall, the public information officer for Melbourne, said Gillespie will earn an annual salary of $130,512.76 as the city’s police chief.

Gillespie, who is currently looking for a place to live in the Melbourne area, said his first day at his new job will be June 5th.

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Sonya Burke

About Sonya Burke

Sonya Burke is the Multimedia Manager at Montgomery Community Media (MCM). You can email story ideas at sburke@mymcmedia.org or reach her on Twitter @SonyaNBurke.


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