Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola died Sunday morning following an extended battle with health issues, town officials said, more than a week after officially retiring.
Bel Air Town Administrator Jesse Bane confirmed Matrangola’s death Sunday evening.
“He is somebody that is going to be missed,” Bane said. “He went before his time. He leaves some big shoes to fill.”
Matrangola, 62, went on medical leave from the police department in October. Harford County Sheriff’s Office Major Jack Meckley filled the role on an interim basis until he returned to that agency earlier this month.
Bane said Matrangola officially retired from the department on July 3, as he prepared to cease further medical treatment; Matrangola had intended to retire in December of this year prior to his illness, Bane said.
The town posted an opening for the chief of police position several weeks prior to Matrangola’s retirement, and received 24 applications for the job. Town officials will screen those applications before scheduling interviews, and will look to name a new chief by mid-September, Bane said. Deputy Chief Rick Peschek will serve as acting chief until that time.
County Executive Barry Glassman ordered that county flags be flown at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, which would have been Matrangola’s 63rd birthday.
“I am saddened by the passing of Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola,” Glassman said in a statement. “He was dedicated to the Town of Bel Air, he loved Harford County and we sincerely appreciate his many years of public service.“
Matrangola served as Bel Air’s police chief for more than 24 years, and oversaw several major initiatives, including the department’s participation in the Harford County Task Force, a multi-agency anti-narcotics effort.
Bane said he first met Matrangola after the latter was inducted as Bel Air’s police chief in April 1991, and struck up a working partnership that developed into a personal friendship.
“He continued a tradition of excellent leadership,” Bane said. “He brought law enforcement in Bel Air into the 21st century.”
According to a statement from the Bel Air Police Department, which appears below, funeral services for Matrangola will be private; a memorial service is planned for August.
From the Bel Air Police Department:
July 13, 2015 – The members of the Bel Air Police Department sadly announce the passing of Chief of Police, Leo F. Matrangola on July 12, 2015.
Leo Matrangola served as the Chief of Police in Bel Air from April 1, 1991 to July 3, 2015. In his time with our agency, he spearheaded many programs and projects that brought consistent and professional police service to the people of Bel Air. Chief Matrangola came to the Bel Air Police Department after serving 21 years in Baltimore County, retiring as a Lieutenant from their Police Department.
Funeral services for Chief Matrangola will be private; a memorial service will follow in August.
From Harford County Government:
BEL AIR, Md., (July 13, 2015) – Harford County Executive Barry Glassman has issued the following statement on the passing of Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola:
“I am saddened by the passing of Bel Air Police Chief Leo Matrangola. He was dedicated to the Town of Bel Air, he loved Harford County and we sincerely appreciate his many years of public service.“
In honor of Chief Matrangola, County Executive Glassman has ordered the Harford County Flag to be flown at half-staff, effective immediately. The flag is to remain at half-staff until sunset on Saturday, July 18, which would have been the occasion of Chief Matrangola’s 63rd birthday.