Oct. 7-After 20 years with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, Lt. Jason Deater retired last month to oversee a police and fire program at Frederick Community College.
Already an adjunct professor at the college, Deater will also start as a first responder program manager for FCC's Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management and Public Safety.
"I really enjoy teaching the newer generation coming into public safety or just in the criminal justice system in general. It's been such a reward," he said.
He will start on Oct. 17 at his new position.
Deater is looking forward to his future as an educator, but aspects of being a first responder will always stick with him, he said. There are some roads he drives down and can only think about a tragic event that happened there.
But he also remembered the camaraderie among first responders. Despite chaos and tragedy, they find order, he said.
"When you sit there and think of complete chaos, and we're still coming together and doing an outstanding job, it's kind of awesome to be able to experience that," he said.
There's some fun memories, too, he said, like when he and his colleagues were chased by a groundhog while responding to a drug complaint.
It was night time, Deater said, and he turned his flashlight on to inspect a noise in a park. A groundhog was 2 feet away, and charged at him. Deater ran.
"It went to the two guys that were my backup and they jumped up on a fence and held themselves in the air. It was just hilarious. We were laughing so hard," he said.
Deater's desire to teach started after he became a police instructor and was teaching his own deputies at the sheriff's office. He said he enjoyed it, so when he got the opportunity to be a public safety adjunct professor at FCC, he took it.
Deater has an associate's degree in police science, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's degree in criminal justice and emergency and disaster management.
He has a lot of experience to offer.
Deater was the commander for the K-9 and traffic units, the Proactive Criminal Enforcement Team (PACE) and School Resource Officer program, a news release from the sheriff's office said. He was also in charge of more than 180 sworn deputies as the assistant patrol operations commander.
Deater started at the sheriff's office in 2002 as a patrol deputy, the release said. He later became a detective with the Frederick County Narcotics Task Force, the release said.
During his time as a detective, he also became a certified K-9 handler and represented the sheriff's office on the U.S. Attorney's Human Trafficking Task Force.
He misses his K-9, a Lab named Homer, he said. Homer died in 2014.
Deater never thought he'd have a dog, he said.
"My daughter was born and she would dress him up in, like, a tiara," he said. "So that was very memorable."
During his time on this task force, Deater got to work for a few years with his brother, who was a Maryland State Police trooper at the time.
"Getting that opportunity to work with my brother, who got me into law enforcement, who introduced me to it, and who I always looked up to in this profession, that's something that really stood out."
"Jason Deater will inspire and manage an academic team of instructors to create the next generation of public safety workers and leaders - leaders guided by the core principles of service, justice, and fundamental fairness," Kathy Francis, executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management and Public Safety, wrote in an email.
Follow Clara Niel on Twitter: