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Emmitsburg has new community deputy

(1/5) Being a community deputy for Emmitsburg should be easier for Frederick County Sheriff's Deputy Rick Gast. Three years ago when he worked narcotics for the sheriff's office, he was shot as he entered a home.

"I was wounded, but I was back on the job in five weeks," Gast said. "If I didn't like my job, I don't think I would have been able to come back so quickly."

Gast has been assigned as Emmitsburg community deputy since the last week of December. He replaces Deputy Matthew Simon who took a new position in Ohio.

"This is where I wanted to be," Gast said. "It's closer to home. I know this area. I like this area."

Still, it has taken some getting used to as he drives around the area, which he hasn't done much of since he left patrol duty five years ago. Now there are new subdivisions to explore and new procedures for paperwork to get used to again.

"You don't forget how to investigate, but sometimes that paperwork - what to fill out for a missing person or what to do for this situation - you need to refresh on because it hasn't been part of your daily life," the deputy said.

Before coming to Emmitsburg, Gast had been assigned to Middletown since October 2006. Before that, he had spent five years in the narcotics division. In total, Gast has eight years with the FCSO and five years with two police agencies in Virginia.

"A good friend I worked with in the Richmond Police had come from Frederick County and he said I should apply," Gast said.

The idea had appeal because Gast was looking for a change at the time and Frederick County was halfway between his family and his then-girlfriend's (now wife's) family.

Gast said he's proud of the work he does because it's an honorable job that allows him to help people.

"It's a job of responsibility and authority," he told The Dispatch. "People depend on you and it would be easy to abuse the job so you have to take it seriously."

That doesn't stop him from enjoying his work and he believes he will continue enjoying it in Emmitsburg.

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