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Anne Arundel police and fire chiefs, chief administrative officer among highest paid county employees

Anne Arundel police and fire chiefs, chief administrative officer among highest paid county employees

The Anne Arundel County police chief, fire chief and chief administrative officer were the three highest-paid county employees this fiscal year,  according to data from the county Office of Personnel.

Police Chief Amal Awad and Fire Chief Trisha Wolford are tied for the top salary at $244,306. Christine Anderson, the county’s chief administrative officer, is next at $236,848.

Awad has headed the 1,200-person department since December 2020. She oversees all department functions across its four districts and office headquarters, training academy, crime prevention unit, K-9 facility, Animal Care and Control and Criminal Investigation Division.

Wolford manages the county’s 31 fire stations and more than 900 career and 400 volunteer firefighters and emergency medical service personnel. She was appointed chief in December 2018.

Awad and Wolford are the first women to lead their respective departments.

Anderson is responsible for overseeing the county executive’s branch offices and departments including the budget, personnel, emergency management, central services, law, and planning and zoning offices. Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman announced her promotion to the position in November 2022 from her previous role as central services director.

Wages for top earners have risen notably with the 24 highest-paid on the payroll collecting over $200,000 annually. That’s up from last fiscal year, when only nine employees made that much. Similarly, 1,124 employees made over $100,000 this fiscal year as opposed to 826 last year.

Of the top 25 earners, 13 are women and 12 are men. Eight of them work for the police department.

Pittman earns the 107th highest employee salary at $142,000; County Council member Pete Smith, a Severn Democrat, earned $47,154 as council chair; Allison Pickard, a Glen Burnie Democrat, earned $43,270 as vice chair. The other five council members earn $42,162.

In December, Pickard became chair and Laurel Democrat Julie Hummer became vice chair.

In 2022, the council approved a pay raise for the current council term, which amounts to about a $1,000 raise each year over a four-year term through 2026.

The county has 4,482 permanent employees this fiscal year, a slight increase from last year’s 4,393, according to the data.

The average county salary is $81,715 and the median salary is slightly lower at $75,568. The most common salary is $125,757, held by 103 police corporals.

Here are the rest of the top earners and their job descriptions:

  • County Attorney Gregory Swain, $228,322: The county attorney leads Anne Arundel’s law office which is responsible for representing the county executive, all county offices, departments, boards, commissions, agencies and the County Council in legal disputes.
  • Budget Officer Christopher Trumbauer, $228,322:Trumbauer oversees the county’s budget office responsible for managing and putting together Anne Arundel’s more than $2 billion annual budget. The office also advises on the fiscal impact of policy changes.
  • Deputy Police Chief Jerard Flemings, $218,523: Flemings leads the Bureau of Patrol, which runs patrol operations in the northern, southern, eastern and western districts and the crime analysis unit. He also heads the Bureau of Community Services, including the community relations and training divisions.
  • Deputy Police Chief Katherine Roberts, $218,523: Roberts oversees the Bureau of Operations and Investigations, which manages criminal investigations, aviation, K9 services and traffic safety, and the Bureau of Administration, said department spokesperson Marc Limansky.
  • State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess, $216,008: The state’s attorney leads two deputies and 58 prosecutors, as well as victim advocates, case managers and investigators representing Anne Arundel County victims in all kinds of criminal cases.  
  • Director of Public Works Karen Henry, $215,251: As the head of the county’s Department of Public Works, Henry manages an office in charge of ensuring residents have safe drinking water, managing wastewater treatment, recycling and trash collection and leading environmental restoration projects. 
  • Assistant Fire Chief Lawrence Schultz, $215,122: Schultz is second in command at the fire department. He oversees the operations at the department including coordinating 911 call responses and deploying personnel to emergency scenes, said department spokesperson Don Clime. 


The county also employs more than 2,000 hourly workers, including law library assistants, child care aides, lab technicians and election clerks.


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