Michael Krok looks young. He’s lanky, with a buzz cut of blond hair. His uniform fits loosely but everything is worn with military precision.
Take a few moments to talk to the clean-cut twenty-something and you’ll soon learn that Krok is indeed a mature and responsible adult.
He has to be. In his job, as police officer first class working out of the Southern District police station, he can’t afford to act like anything other than a well-respected officer of the law.
Now, five years after joining the force, Krok was named by his Southern District captain and the Police Community Relations Council (PCRC) as the Police Officer of the Year.
Krok was honored with the award last Thursday at a ceremony and holiday party at the Southern District station.
PCRC president Christina Carr said that when she read the nomination letter submitted by Lt. Bruce Whitlow, she thought Krok was surely a veteran of the force.
Whitlow said the reason he nominated Krok was because he is “always going above and beyond. He thinks before he acts. He is out there assisting other officers,” Whitlow said. There was no doubt or hesitation about who he was going to nominate this year.
When asked what he looked for in making a selection for Policeman of the Year, Whitlow said, he “wants to pick someone dedicated to the job. I’ve put in for guys with 25 years on and those with two years on.”
One of Krok’s big accomplishments this year was helping the Southern District team to catch the bank robber who had hit the M&T Bank a couple of times over the summer.
Kros closed off Central Avenue one afternoon when a call came through that the in Edgewater had been robbed for the third time in as many months.
“I was on a call on Birdsville Road. I’d finished up that call when I heard about the bank robbery in Edgewater. I came up (Central Avenue) and when I got to Hardesty Estates, I closed the road. Just pulled my car across both lanes,” Krok said.
He then waited to hear from his sergeant.
“I noticed a small black car, a Hyundai I think it was. It stopped and then turned around,” he said. “I wasn't sure if he was just being impatient or what.
"I was in an unmarked car. I called out the information about the car," he said.
Police in Edgewater were heading in the Krok's direction. They got the word about the compact car that had turned around and pulled it over. It was the suspect they were looking for.
Krok said that he has had law enforcement in his blood his whole life. He knew a lot about the job before he started because of the stories his dad would tell. Krok's father is Sgt. Michael Krok, a 25-year veteran.
Krok graduated from Old Mill High School and Towson University. He joined the Anne Arundel County Police Department on Dec. 13, 2007. He said he still loves his job.
“I’m happy doing what I’m doing every day,” Krok said.
The Police Community Relations Board meets the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Southern District Police Station in Edgewater. The group includes merchants, community leaders and citizens and works to bridge the gap between the police department and the public. All meetings are free and open to the public.